Last week we were on a very busy road in London helping out one of our business partners with a bird control job they were having some issues with. They had inherited this job from a contractor who had failed to deliver, and indeed seemed to have taken on a bit more than they could manage.
They are not bird experts but decided to have a go anyway – a very common issue with organisations not used to dealing with bird proofing. It is easy to attempt to stick a few spikes here and there, but this was a huge job and they just did not know what they were taking on – hence our involvement as bird control and prevention speciaists albeit too late to influence.
As this was a busy highway, traffic control needed to be arranged, closure of footpaths and liaising with other contractors and site managers etc to ensure when we arrived on site, we could make the most of the time we had. We were told all high level access was sorted and all we needed to do was turn up at 9:30pm for a safety briefing, induction and to receive the final instructions. As this was a Saturday night, we decided not to send any of the guys, but my ops director Steve and I would attend instead – we always like to set the example to the guys.
So we duly arrived, got our site safety briefing and went to get ready, only to discover that our business partner’s team had turned up with a tower scaffold and not a MEWP’s as expected – this was totally inadequate for the job we had to do!
Luckily, the main contractor had a MEWP’s on site which he kindly allowed us to use. Any job like this must have a MEWP on site – even 2 really to enable 2 teams to get the work done quickly, effectively and most importantly safely. Questions would be asked!
Anyway, with all the confusion etc, we never laid a spike until 12 midnight – very frustrating for all concerned. This burnt into our down time as well – we only had 5 hours to do an 8 hour job. The best thing to do in these circumstances is just to get going – sort out the why’s tomorrow but today, we needed to get some serious spiking done.
Experience has told us to always use the best materials so our standard spikes are Avipoint and on jobs like this Avifix is used to secure them due to it’s superior adhesive qualities. We used both P14 and P20 spikes, again due to the width of ledge. We also scrubbed down the surfaces before fixing. As I have said many times in the past, bird faeces is very dangerous, so full PPE is required to do this job.
Working at heights is draining, especially in dark cramped situations, so for safety we did 45 minutes up, 15 minutes down each hour but progress was excellent. Despite all the delays and issues, we pretty much completed one bridge before the site manager called work to a close.
The moral of the story is to make sure you get a bird control expert in to survey properly, specify the right equipment and protection, then plan accordingly. A failure to plan is planning to fail – a simple saying but so true. Bird proofing is not just about sticking a few spikes or a net up, but is a skill that needs to be recognised.
Call Rapid Environmental Services now on Newbury 01635 247192 for your bird control problems – don’t settle for second best.