How Safe is Rope Access?
Rope access is one of the safest ways of working at height. Follow the link to find more about rope access safety.
Rope access methods are a step ahead of expensive scaffolding, scissor lifts and elevated work platforms. It is a cost-effective, efficient, safe and environmentally friendly method of working at height. While using the rope access technique, projects can be completed significantly faster. It requires fewer man-hours and fewer materials which translates to a reduction in costs. However, there are still a lot of myths about rope access safety. It might seem very dangerous to be at a height with nothing but the open-air below your feet; although, it is a lot safer than it looks. There are at least 4 pieces of evidence in favour of rope access safety.
1. Mandatory Regulations
The Work at Height Regulations 2005 specifies the minimum safety and health requirements for working at height. They are mandatory for all technicians and supervisors who control work at height and are enforceable by law. Moreover, to ensure that health and safety risks in the working area are minimised or avoided when working at height, Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) wrote a code of practice which defines good practice for individuals and organisations using rope access equipment.
2. Certified Training Courses
To ensure safety when working with rope access, operators are required to be trained and assessed by the IRATA "Training, Assessment and Certification Scheme" (TACS). IRATA has three levels of certified training. This helps to ensure that every technician knows how to remain safe when they are working at height.
Rope access technicians follow the International Code of Practice (ICOP) and develop their expertise through continuing professional development (CPD) assessments. Besides rope access technicians work under constant supervision and they work in pairs to ensure further safety. Every worker is a professional in the field with certain worldwide certifications.
4. Inspected and Tested Equipment
Rope access technicians use certified Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). And it is a lot more than just a rope. The kit varies for different jobs but typically involves the same set of the minimum equipment required for safe and productive work at height. Regular inspections and testing of equipment are done before and after work. Additionally, rope access technicians are required to use two separate ropes rigged to different anchor points when working at height. This ensures a reinforcement if something happens with one of the ropes.
It takes experience and a lot of training to become a rope access technician. The industry is built around regulations, continuous training, competent supervision and ratified quality equipment. Nordic Access delivers rope access services all over the world in a variety of industries including Oil & Gas, Building Maintenance, Renewable Energy, NDT etc. Use the safest working at height technique for your next project!