Ensuring maritime safety
In the UK, two equally important institutions safeguard maritime voyagers in rough seas and through turbulent weather. Trinity House and the Northern Lighthouse Board oversee maritime safety, lighthouse maintenance and buoys, and provide radio and satellite communication systems to seafaring travellers in UK waters.
RSK’s asbestos team works with the lighthouse authorities on various projects, including management surveys, refurbishment and demolition surveys, and air monitoring when removing asbestos. We work on lighthouses or vessels and our work therefore involves intricate access challenges and complicated planning requirements. Because so many of the sites are offshore, we can only access them using a helicopter or a boat. Therefore, access is dependent on the weather conditions; rough seas or gale-force winds can make it unsafe to disembark from the transport vessel. When we undertake surveys for the Northern Lighthouse Board on remote islands in Scotland, we have to align our plans with infrequent ferry crossings and the availability of accommodation.
Owing to our decades of experience and expertise, we develop a thorough understanding of the project scope and access and transportation requirements that informs our efficient solutions. We always conduct in-depth research into weather conditions, ferry and boat timetables before working on-site to ensure that our programme of work is correctly planned and suited to the most viable schedule.
However, the unpredictability of the weather is the biggest challenge for our maritime projects. By liaising closely with the client and conducting extensive project planning, we reduce the impact of these challenges to mitigate any delays and ensure we have adequate time on-site. For our work with Trinity House, RSK’s materials and structures team is typically on-site conducting structural surveys of the lighthouses and vessels, which is often done via rope access. Our multidisciplinary approach to projects enhances efficiency for our clients and provides specialist consultancy and contracting services.