IRATA reports unprecedented growth

The Association has passed the 100 mark of member companies and now has over 9000 active technicians registered in over 50 countries.

The Association has passed the 100 mark of member companies and now has over 9000 active technicians registered in over 50 countries. This growth of over 35% in the last year or so reflects our increasingly global profile and the acknowledgement of many new friends that it represents and promotes a safe work-at-height procedure for offshore and onshore work that can be adopted in all environments and cultures. The introduction of a Unique Membership Number system has ensured that everyone – technician, contractor, H&S personnel and clients can now ask to see that reference and therefore identify the training or operating company as a genuine IRATA member With this growth comes ever-greater responsibility for the maintenance of training and operational standards. Fresh emphasis is being given to the delivery and assessment of training and to these standards being monitored and maintained. A recent development has seen the creation of four Regional Advisory Committees – in South East Asia, North America, Brasil and Australia/New Zealand – with a view to improving communication, decision-making, market growth, and local autonomy. IRATA continues to play its role within the Work-at-Height industry around the world with its active participation in British and European Standards creation and its work with the HSE, the Access Industry Forum and other groups. The Association is regularly consulted by governments, international agencies, business conglomerates and legislators. Its latest set of accident statistics will be published by IRATA at the end of the summer – six months earlier than in previous years – and the accompanying report, drawn up by an independent expert, is expected to show another year of safe working. IRATA is conscious of occasional reports of poor standards of training and work site operation and rigorously investigates any sufficiently detailed reports it receives. The Association is determined to maintain its reputation for safety and to export these standards to wherever the desire exists to work safely. The delay in introducing our On-Line Registration system has been as depressing for us as anyone but a good number of bugs have been slain in order to get the programme running. A test period is about to begin and we expect to ‘go live’ in a couple of months. Recently compiled records show that IRATA rope access training and operating companies employed in excess of 200000 people worldwide in 2005, with over two and a quarter million hours being spent working on ropes!