Unusual Rigging puts a twinkle in the London Eye

24th November 2014

The London Eye has never looked better! The company behind one of the capital’s top tourist attractions recently called upon the expertise of Unusual Rigging to help with a thorough clean of the London Eye’s 90 steel cables in order to prevent failure and increase the expected lifespan of the cables.

Under cover of darkness, Unusual’s Robin Elias and a team of riggers, headed by crew chief Phil Dickinson, worked every night over a period of 10 weeks, whilst ensuring the London Eye kept turning and attracting hordes of visitors during the day.

Mark Robinson, Technical Operations Manager at the London Eye said: “We knew right away that Unusual was the right company for this complex job. In 2012, Unusual worked here with STREB, for an event which saw acrobats perform on the steel cables. I found them to be a very professional company and had no doubt that they had the required skills, experience and knowledge to be able to carry out the corrosion protection application.”

Since this is the first time such a scope of works has been undertaken on the London Eye, safety was of paramount importance and much of the focus was on designing the method and tools required to ensure 100% safety for those working at height, as well as for the public and employees below. It was also important to maintain the cleanliness of the capsules below the cables so that they were available for use the following morning.

“I was impressed with just how thorough Unusual Rigging was from the very beginning of the project. Robin provided full and comprehensive method statements, risk assessments and certification for riggers and equipment, giving me complete confidence in their ability to deliver a demanding project,” added Mark.

Robin explained: “Having worked on the London Eye in 2012, we knew what we were dealing with. We adapted our Access System to follow the path of the sloping spokes, which worked extremely well, allowing the crew to work gruelling night shifts every night, cleaning each spoke and then applying an aluminium wax corrosion protector.”

Mark concluded: “Unusual’s work has been instrumental in not only helping to prevent premature failure of the cables but also to avoid significant capital expenditure on a steel cable replacement programme. The improvement in the actual look of the London Eye is an additional (and very welcome) benefit.”

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