Rope Access – an Overview
Rope access is a technology that uses a combination of ropes, safety equipment, and qualified personnel to gain access to difficult-to-reach areas. Being a safe and efficient means of carrying out work at height, rope access is often used for high-rise window cleaning, bridge maintenance, sign installation, and wind turbine repair. Technicians can ascend, descend, and move horizontally, allowing them to do a more thorough job than other methods.
At Rope Contractors, we are often asked if bosun chairs and rope access are the same thing. They aren’t. Bosun chairs are an outdated access method that does not require training or certification. Since they are considered elevated work platforms, they only need to have fall arrest gear to tie off. Rope access technicians are attached to two independent anchor points, ensuring a backup line if one fails, and wear harnesses that reduce the risk of suspension-related injuries.
What are the advantages of rope access methods?
The main advantage of rope access is the way that workers can quickly and safely get from one challenging location to the next without impacting their surroundings or the environment. Common examples include:
- Uniquely-designed buildings that cannot be safely reached using scaffolding and aerial work platforms.
- Marine and offshore locations, such as bridges and oil rigs
Compared to other access methods, it also reduces the total number of manhours needed to complete a job, representing cost savings without compromising on safety.
Other advantages include:
- Rope access is quickly set up and taken down, making it especially suitable for urgent assignments.
- It takes up little space, so inconvenience for businesses and tenants is kept to a minimum.
- It is environmentally friendly: unlike some access methods, it does not emit a lot of gases.
How safe is rope access?
When undertaken by a reputable company like Rope Contractors, rope access methods result in efficient work with decreased risk of accidents or dangerous incidents. We carefully plan each project and complete a documented risk assessment before work begins.
All of our rope access technicians follow the guidelines established by the following organizations:
- Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA): IRATA focuses on the safe execution of rope access. Its international system includes work procedures that members are required to follow. Unlike other rope access companies, IRATA members are rigorously monitored for compliance to ensure a safe system of work.
- Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT): This organization uses education, standards development and certification administration to advance safe rope access methods.
Any rope access company certified by IRATA and SPRAT can be relied upon to approach projects with the diligence, professionalism, and attention to safety that employers rely on.
Put our skilled and professional team to work
At Rope Contractors, our mission is to help clients manage their construction, cleaning, and maintenance costs by eliminating costly access methods like cranes and scaffolding. You spend less on access costs, leaving you with more to invest in key business processes. For more information, contact us for a no-obligation consultation today!