What is Rope Access?
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 place, 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 and then carry out their work, often with minimal impact on other operations and the nearby area. Another major benefit is that the combination of the total man-hours and the level of risk for a particular task (man-at-risk hours) is often reduced when compared with other means of access and their associated risks and costs.
The primary objective when using rope access methods is to plan, manage and carry out the work with minimal accidents, incidents or dangerous occurrences, i.e. to ensure a safe system of work is maintained at all times, and with no damage to property or harm to the environment. IRATA International has in place a continuously evolving regime of work procedures that members are required to follow and which are monitored for compliance to ensure that a safe system of work is established and maintained. This sets IRATA International member companies apart from rope access companies that are not subject to such a rigorous scheme.
Necessity for rope access in the industries
- The very first statement is SAFE and time saving.
- Modern rope access equipment, techniques, and training can be combined to produce an exceptionally safe, versatile, efficient, and cost-effective way to solve vertical access problems.
- Rope access is safe. Independently-certified rope-access technicians uphold an enviable safety record with no fatalities and few lost time incidents while working on rope.
- Establishment of the system is quick to assemble and disassemble and requires a small number of personnel for a short time. Thus the number of man-risk hours is kept to a minimum.
- Because the installation and dismantling of the system is rapid, there is minimal disruption to building occupants, pedestrians and traffic flow. The system can be dismantled at the end of each shift, minimizing the potential for vandalism and theft.
- Cost. Lower than most other access methods, for example scaffolding.
- Rope access is versatile. Technicians can apply the techniques in a wide variety of environments, from confined-space penstocks to massive concrete structures to complicated steel installations. Unlike traditional access methods, custom rope-access solutions can be designed to fit various applications quickly and inexpensively.
- Rope access is efficient. Systems are installed and dismantled quickly and often require fewer personnel than traditional access methods. Rapid deployment limits disruption to facility operations by minimizing downtime.
- Rope access is economical. Fewer personnel, faster completion, less equipment, and minimal downtime mean lower costs.
Who uses rope access?
- Civil, structural, and geo-technical engineers
- Operations and maintenance workers
- Construction workers and painters
- High-rise window cleaners
- Motion picture and theatrical set personnel
- Tower and antenna installers
Present state of rope access in worldwide
Rope access is carried out all over the world. There are IRATA qualified rope access technicians based of working in many countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, Dubai France, Germany, Holland, Indonesia, New Zealand, Norway, Sarawak, Singapore, South Africa, Middle East, Thailand, UK, USA, Vietnam, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
Future scope of rope access
Due to the upcoming reputation of rope access scheme, all sectors mentioned above in all countries including India itself will go for rope access. It can be seen now a day’s and lot of studies reveal the issues in work at heights becoming very critical and monitored due to lot of accidents and incidents happening around the industries. For sure rope access will be the new way of working at heights in the future for safe system of works.
Rope Access training details
Levels of qualification:
Basically there are three types of levels in IRATA certification for rope access.
Level 1 rope access technician
A level 1 rope access technician shall be capable of performing a limited range of rope access tasks required by his or her employers, under the supervision of an IRATA level 3 rope access technician. He/she is: responsible for inspections of all his/her own personal rope access equipment; able to assist in rigging and non-standard operations, under the guidance of a higher grade; able to undertake a rescue involving descent by him/herself and have a knowledge of hauling systems.
Level 2 rope access technician and
A level 2 rope access technician shall be capable of rigging working ropes, undertaking rescues and performing rope access tasks (under the supervision of an IRATA level 3 rope access technician). He/she should have some knowledge of legislation, safety requirements and quality assurance procedures relating to rope access.
Level 3 rope access technician
• A level 3 rope access technician shall: • be capable of site supervision for rope access work projects; • be conversant with relevant work techniques and legislation; • be able to demonstrate all the skills and knowledge required of levels 1 and 2; • have a comprehensive knowledge of advanced rescue techniques; • hold an appropriate current first aid certificate, to show that suitable emergency first aid training has been undertaken; • have knowledge of the IRATA certification scheme;
Job Opportunities in rope access
Most of the Indian nationalities will be working in abroad and other nationalities also will come for training from different part of the world.
Since the irata certification is well known worldwide by the employers it is easy to get placed immediately across the globe.
The rope access certified professional has opportunity in various sectors and some of them are listed below.
Area of Job opportunity:
- Non-Destructive Testing (NDT)
- Structural and Tank inspections
- Bridge inspection
- Sealant installation and surface preparation
- Sand blasting and pressure washing
- Cleaning and painting
- Maintenance and repair
- Window cleaning
- Instrument installation
- Blasting and Painting
- Rock scaling and anchoring
- Offshore Installation
- Windmill Maintenance
- Geological surveys