Rope Access is a form of work positioning in which the climber's weight is mainly borne by his/her equipment. In accordance with EU guidelines (minimum requirements 2001/45/EG), we work with a fully redundant system. If an attachment or anchor point fails, the second (backup) system provides additional safety reserve. It therefore no longer falls under the “standard solutions” such as workplace limitation, fall protection and work positioning.
Initially, Rope Access was developed from techniques used in mountaineering and caving; technical rope solutions that make it possible to make all kinds of hard-to-reach places accessible in a safe and easy way. It is sometimes incorrectly suggested that Rope Access technicians are alpinists. Over the years, Rope Access has grown internationally into a serious specialism for professionals and these techniques have been refined and adapted to the strict requirements that apply within international and national health and safety legislation.
Statistics show that Rope Access is safer than working with collective measures (scaffolding, lifts, safety nets, etc.). However, a condition is that strict safety guidelines are applied (for example IRATA) and that all methods and techniques are mastered to perfection. The necessary attention must also be paid to rescue techniques.
IRATA! Industrial Rope Access Trading Association.
Rope Access techniques are relatively new in the Netherlands and Belgium. Abroad, however, there has been a tradition in this area for a long time. In Great Britain, for example, they have been working with these techniques for over 20 years and a sophisticated training, registration and quality system has been developed under the name IRATA. The IRATA guidelines, which were developed in collaboration with the British Labor Inspectorate (HSE), are now seen all over the world as the standard for the use of Rope Access techniques.
Statistics show that within the petrochemical industry the Rope Access technicians (who already work in this sector according to these guidelines) have the lowest risk of all employees!
Are you looking for a reliable Rope Access contractor? We strongly recommend that you only use companies that work according to these strict international guidelines! Using IRATA guidelines implies that a Level 3 supervisor is always present at the workplace. This is a technician who has completed a number of long intensive courses and who can boast of many years of experience. Unfortunately, we in the industry are increasingly confronted with companies that falsely claim to use IRATA guidelines. You can recognize IRATA contractors by the IRATA Logo (see above) with the membership number below (eg MEMBER 5006/OT).
Where can Rope Access be applied?
Rope Access techniques can and may be applied in all situations where incidental short-term work is carried out in cases where:
- Collective measures are not possible (scaffolding, suspension bridge, lift)
- The costs of collective measures are not in proportion to the work to be performed (not economically feasible)
- The danger that the construction of collective measures poses is disproportionate to the work to be performed
Construction - assembly/montage
- Maintenance and installation of cabling on masts, telecommunication systems, lightning protection, etc.
- Placing and removing advertising media
- Hoisting, assembly and maintenance of installations and structures
- Removing or demolishing unstable structures
- Performing welding in inaccessible places; also at great heights
- Safe access of storage tank, silo, pipe or well
- With or without respiratory protection
Inspections – Cleaning – Restoration
- Inspecting and maintaining bridges, buildings, masts, sheet piling, rotor blades, etc.
- The inspection can be done in different ways: visual check, digital check (taking images), probing, etc.
What are the advantages?
- Fast installation and dismantling.
- Availability or production is only interrupted for a short time
- One point of contact for the entire work: technicians carry out the job but are also responsible for installing all safety measures
Rope Access is a practical, safe, ergonomic and simple solution that can save a huge amount of money, time and energy!