IRATA International’s rope access system is a safe method of working at height where ropes and associated equipment are used to gain access to and from the work position, and to be supported there.
The advantage of using rope access methods mainly lies in the safety and speed with which workers can get to or from difficult locations in order to carry out their work, often with minimal impact on other operations, surrounding areas and the environment. Another major benefit is the reduction of the combination of the total man-hours and perceived level of risk for a particular task (man-at-risk hours) when compared with other means of access and their associated risks and costs.
The primary objective when using rope access methods is to carry out the work efficiently, with minimal accidents, incidents or dangerous occurrences. In order to ensure a safe system of work is maintained at all times, whilst avoiding damage to property or harm to the environment, careful planning and documented risk assessments are undertaken for each operation.
For many companies, Rope Access provides opportunities to gain access to structures without having to use costly and obstructive scaffolding or machinery (like MEWPS, etc.) so that aesthetics and access to structures are not compromised, potentially costing money in other ways.
Rope Access personnel take safety incredibly seriously, so what is often perceived as a ‘dangerous’ job – it is in actual fact incredibly safe. Most jobs that can be carried on scaffolding, MEWPS, etc. can also be carried out whilst suspended from a rope.