Steeplejacking is a highly skilled and historically challenging profession in which individuals are trained to access buildings typically inaccessible in ordinary circumstances. The history of steeplejacking spans many years and they were traditionally required to scale structures such as church steeples, chimneys and clock towers. With the birth of the industrial revolution came a need for highly skilled individuals who were able to access chimneys and service hard to reach areas at height.
In the modern day, a steeplejack is someone who can gain access to various structures, buildings and areas of height through various means. It is through the use of floating scaffolding and the ability to work in confined spaces (such as inside chimneys) that sets a steeplejack apart from other construction workers.
These skill sets require rigorous training that can take years to complete. Whilst at height at steeplejack will use a number of different skills such as masonry, painting, carpentry, waterproofing, roofing and stone cutting in order to restore, repair and maintain the structures they scale.
What Sets Them Apart?
Whilst many builders have access to areas of height a steeplejack will often encounter buildings and structures with no ladders or step access. In these cases the building will require a unique suspended or flying scaffolding system, rigging and laddering in order to access the areas of work, all of which require a huge amount of learning.
Without a steeplejack a building or structure would have to be fully covered in scaffolding in order to access any areas that require work. With the skill sets a steeplejack is able to cut down on customer costs, provide an exemplary level of service and safely access areas that are unattainable to most.
Central High Rise prides itself on investing in our workers at all levels throughout the company. Our steeplejacks are required to go through intense training before they can work at any height. Apprentices are taught laddering different structures, bricklaying, welding and working in confined spaces. Each individual steeplejack will be sent on refresher courses throughout their career and must be trained in all aspects of safety at height.
It takes a minimum of 2 years to qualify to be a Steeplejack and their knowledge and skill set is continually expanding during their career – as they encounter different types of projects in a range of environments.
To be a foreman at Central High Rise we would expect our Steeplejacks to have a minimum of 5 to 10 year’s experience.