What is Rope Access? We get asked this question a lot. It’s quite a new industry when you compare it to traditional access methods (but definitely gaining popularity quickly) so when you think of work at height, most people automatically think of cradles scaffolding and other ‘old school’ techniques of getting work done. As time goes by and everything advances, so ways of getting things done must keep up. Mostly everyone is constantly looking at ways to getting work done quickly, efficiently and safely. That is where Rope Access comes in. In layman’s terms, it is a two-rope system (main working line and a back-up line) which is attached to a qualified Rope Access Technician by a harness in order to work at height and get the job done. A lot of additional different and complex gear is used in rope access which allows the Rope Access Technician to maneuver themselves in different directions. This system of mobility is what allows a Rope Access Technician to access difficult locations and areas easily and what makes Rope Access a great solution to many access challenges.
It is a strict requirement for us as a Rope Access company to meet the standards that are set out by IRATA (The Industrial Rope Access Trade Association). We cannot just attach our ropes to anything on a building or structure. Our first step would be to assess the site and if need be to install Anchors which must meet static strength requirements. You will receive a certificate for this confirming they have been installed and tested to En 795 standards.
Rigging for rescue means that the ropes will be rigged with an exact rescue procedure in mind. These procedures will differ from site to site and will be planned accordingly.
Once the Anchor system is in place, the ropes will be rigged, equipment will be checked by the individual Rope Technicians and they will also perform buddy checks, we will then be set to carry out the work.
If the correct systems are used and according to IRATA’s guidelines, then there is no reason for anything to go wrong and there should be a zero incident rate. You can check out IRATA’s website here which shows reports for any incidents (which most of you will note have been caused from individual user error or external influences). A correct Rope Access Method is foolproof, efficient and safe which is exactly what most people are looking for when they need work done.