The Royal College of Music
Situated in South Kensington, the home of science, arts and inspiration, directly opposite the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal College of Music is one of the world’s great conservatoires, training gifted musicians from all over the world for international careers as performers, conductors and composers.
Opened in 1883 by the then Prince of Wales (later Edward VII), the RCM has trained some of the most important figures in British and international music life, including composers such as Holst, VaughanWilliams, Turnage and Britten; conductors such as Leopold Stokowski, Sir Colin Davis and Sir Roger Norrington; singers such as Dame Joan Sutherland, Sir Thomas Allen and Alfie Boe; instrumentalists such as Sir James Galway, John Lill, Gervase de Peyer, and Natalie Clein.
Bringing an older building up to code regarding health and safety is always a challenge. Modern amenities were squeezed into available spaces as they became available but the emphasis was always on preserving as much of the original building as possible; going back in - often decades later - to make those spaces safe for maintenance crews or to replace outdated systems involves crawl-spaces, false walls and hidden hatches.
It was just such a request we received recently. A GRP cat ladder and RiserDeck floor with access hatch were required to allow work on the hidden pipework within a very narrow space. The ladder needed to be positioned in such a way that the pipe behind it wouldn’t be kicked; the hatch would be small, so needed to be 100% snag-free and the ladder height required safety hoops to help prevent falls.
After drawings were approved by our client, the ladder was built onsite at Step on Safety but it had to be cut in half to load it onto the flat bed and to ensure it could be manoeuvred into position once it reached RCM. You can see from the photos that even the two-man installation team would have been a tight squeeze!
GRP is lightweight so the fact that only two people could be there to lift it into place wasn’t a problem. And, being GRP, now the ladder is there it will last for decades.
Find out how Step on Safety can fill the gaps in your Health & Safety certification by calling Steve or Amber on 01206 396 446 or visit www.steponsafety.co.uk.