Equipment Management for Rope Access Technicians

Rope access techniques

Industrial rope access has proven to be a safe, efficient and cost-effective. Common rope access techniques include inspection, surveying, maintenance on buildings, towers, bridges, dams, wind turbines and more. Rope access equipment consists of ropes, helmets, harnesses, carabiners, ascenders, and descenders.  

Safety should always be of paramount concern for those using rope access techniques, with the awareness of the following legislations that are necessary for equipment managers and contractors:

What can go wrong?

Although rope access techniques is one of the safest ways to carry out high access maintenance and repairs in the industry, things can still go wrong. Risks could include falls from height due to poor technique, equipment or anchor failure; struck by falling items resulting in fatality or injury to the user; rope burns; and stuck at height.  

Prevention is better than cure

When using rope access techniques, the main objective is to carry out work efficiently, with minimal accidents, incidents or dangerous occurrences. It is important to asses the risks accurately when using any equipment to ensure it meets safety standards, is properly stored, inspected and maintained. It is also essential that the equipment complies with the international standards and equipment users are trained to use it safely. Any work carried out should be supervised to check users are working safely. 

Training Systems 

Training is a continuous process for rope access technicians it keeps them up to speed on current legislation. IRATA and SPRAT have published guidelines to integrate with on-site safety management systems. 

The International Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) is responsible for regulating the training of all workers looking to earn qualifications in the industry. IRATA certifications are available in three different levels and are required for all working rope access technicians. Read more about IRATA Certifications and what is required here

The Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT) certification provides instant recognition and credibility to those who carry it. SPRAT encourages the safe use of rope access through education, standards development and certification. SPRAT is also available in three levels available, more information about becoming SPRAT certified can be found here.

Rope Access Program

Based on IRATA and SPRAT guidelines, a safe rope access program should be designed around these four key components:

  1. Management systems
  2. Training systems
  3. Equipment management systems
  4. Qualified supervisors

Equipment Management Systems 

When it comes to the lives of rope access technicians, they are in the hands of the equipment they use. Equipment managers are responsible for maintenance and testing, with each piece of equipment given a unique identifier and inspected before used on a job. Using Papertrail, equipment managers can use RFID or barcode technology to easily identify equipment, create secure and fully auditable inspections in seconds – simply scan and go! 

If your current equipment management system is not working efficiently and you think can be improved. Download our 5 Step Management System Review Workbook, created for equipment managers to ensure your PPE management system is effective.


How Does Papertrail Save You Time and Money?

papertrail-saves-you-time-and-money

Health and safety compliance was never meant to be about paperwork. Behind most laws are practical, real-world problems that need solutions. Managing health and safety, whether for yourself, boss or clients is about taking those practical steps, then documenting everything from equipment inspections to training. Continue Reading…

Health and Safety in the Infrastructure Industry: What’s Required?

infrastructure-papertrail

A former government adviser warned the construction industry that health and safety is a “ticking timebomb”, as a result of HSE budget cuts.

The construction industry has been hiring in record numbers in recent years, thanks to a new post-recession boom in property and infrastructure projects. The tragic downside of this is the number of industrial incidents in building sites has doubled in recent years. Between 2001 and 2014 there have been 760 deaths on building and infrastructure sites. Continue Reading…

Common Health and Safety Concerns in the Telecoms Industry

telecoms-work-at-height

Can we imagine life without wi-fi and smartphones? There was a time before apps, social networks and a hyper-connected global culture. Connectivity, like our food chain, is all about convenience. Whatever we want, we want it now.

What we don’t often see, or think about, is the industry that makes all of this possible: telecoms providers. The telecoms industry is a label for a sector that includes everything from smartphone manufacturers to communication systems, wireless routers to outsourced call centres.

Globally, this is a multi-trillion dollar industry employing millions of people. Continue Reading…

Work at Height Accidents That Shook the World

work-at-height-accidents

Falling from a height is the single biggest cause of workplace fatalities and serious injuries in the UK. Work at Height Regulations became law in 2005, to ensure anyone, whether cleaning windows on a skyscraper or fitting a light bulb, is protected.

Despite numerous regulations and training schemes, there are still over 1,000 fatalities and 4,000 accidents across Europe from falls every year. Continue Reading…

Construction: The 10 Most Common Health and Safety Risks

construction tractor excavator site

Accident fatality rates in the construction industry are double that of the sector average, with rates of minor accidents almost incalculably more.

In such an ever-changing working environment this is hardly surprising. But many employers are still unaware of their duty of care to employees, visitors, and even those not directly related to their activities. Continue Reading…