Héroes modernos: Profesionales de las alturas

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By maquigestion On Jueves, junio 25 th, 2020 · 67 Comments · In

Héroes modernos: Profesionales de las alturas

 

Como profesionales en fabricación de andamios eléctricos deslizantes, el producto es nuestra razón de ser. Trabajar constantemente para mejorarlo y ofrecer la máxima seguridad y eficiencia, es el motor que nos impulsa día a día.

Pero detrás de un buen andamio, deben haber  profesionales que sepan operarlo correctamente y conozcan de primera mano cuáles son los riesgos, y cómo solventarlos.

Los operarios en altura, son actualmente un colectivo al que podría clasificarse dentro de los llamados “héroes modernos”.

Estos profesionales arriesgan su vida diariamente al realizar sus tareas en unas condiciones de máximo riesgo, por ello, esta entrada va dedicada a ellos.

Desde la construcción de rascacielos, hasta tareas más cotidianas como la limpieza o mantenimiento de una fachada, y/o  la instalación de una lona publicitaria de gran formato, el operario en altura instala su despacho junto al nido del águila.

Acostumbrados a observar el mundo desde arriba, se mueven con total confianza en espacios reducidos, andan con paso firme sobre peligrosos desniveles, y descansan plácidamente en el filo de una viga. El miedo es simplemente algo que no conocen, y que a su vez, no pueden permitirse.

Actualmente los operarios de las alturas disponen de una gran preparación en cuanto a prevención de riesgos laborales, pero antiguamente no existía nada de eso. Nada de normativas y mucho menos de medidas y herramientas de seguridad.

Un poco de historia…

Durante el auge de la construcción en New York, llegaron a emplearse a cientos de indios Mohawk, pues ya habían demostrado anteriormente su habilidad en las alturas. Alrededor del 1850, participaron en la construcción de varios puentes, y en los momentos de descanso de los obreros, los jóvenes nativos de la reserva Kahnawake, escalaban con soltura estructuras de 45 metros y corrían sin miedo sobre el hierro. Su agilidad atrajo la atención de la empresa encargada de las obras de construcción de dichos puentes, quien decidió entrenar a varios adolescentes para trabajar como remachadores.

A pesar de su destreza, el trabajo resultaba extraordinariamente peligroso: Atravesar vigas de  25 centímetros con un cinturón de herramientas que pesaba más de 20Kg, usar fraguas portátiles para quemar carbón a alturas de más de 350 metros, etc… Los nativos Mohawk, participaron en la construcción de edificios tan emblemáticos como el Rockefeller Center, el Edificio Chrysler y/o el World Trade Center, pero ellos nunca aparecieron en la foto. Ni siquiera en la famosa imagen que muestra a un grupo de obreros almorzando en un andamio sobre el cielo de New York.

Fue gracias a Charles Clyde Ebbets, que hoy podemos disfrutar de esas maravillosas imágenes que demuestran claramente, tiempos en los que la seguridad en la construcción no era lo más importante, pero que fueron el inicio de la implantación de sistemas de seguridad y protección.

Charles fue nombrado Director Fotográfico para el desarrollo del Centro Rockefeller, y él mismo permaneció suspendido en una viga adyacente  del piso 69, para poder inmortalizar su famosa foto “Almuerzo en la cima de un rascacielos”. Aunque no fue esa la única imagen de aquél día. Hay muchas más, y todas impresionantes.

Los medios utilizados por los profesionales de las alturas, para acceder a lo alto de los edificios, van desde grúas, hasta andamios tubulares, colgantes o de cremallera, pero últimamente podemos afirmar sin duda alguna, que uno de los métodos más empleados es el acceso por cuerdas.

Las técnicas de acceso por cuerdas, están asociadas a las técnicas del alpinismo, las cuales permiten desempeñar labores en lugares de difícil acceso, aumentando el grado de seguridad.. Por eso desde mediados del siglo XX las necesidades de seguridad en el campo industrial, llevaron a diferentes empresas a solicitar la intervención de alpinistas, para reparar y mantener edificios, puentes, líneas eléctricas, etc…si bien este tipo de trabajo ya se realizaba en la antigüedad tal y como muestran los textos del investigador Plinio El Viejo, en su libro Tratado de los metales: “Las personas que rompen estas rocas están suspendidas por sogas, de modo que vistos de lejos trabajando, parecen ser bestias salvajes, qué digo, aves de una especie nueva. Estos hombres, casi siempre suspendidos, son los que nivelan las pendientes, y trazan la línea que seguirá el corrugo, y donde no hay lugar para poner el pie“.

 

 

 

Por último, no quisiéramos olvidarnos de todos aquellos profesionales que perdieron la vida, o sufrieron graves accidentes durante la ejecución de sus trabajos. Gracias…

 

 

 

 

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