It has taken the last decade for rope access to become generally accepted as a valid way to work at height. Initial reservations were fueled by a perceived danger of workers dangling from insubstantial ropes and by the employment of caver's and climbers without specific industrial training. Perhaps the (now archaic) French term for rope access "travaux acrobatiques" sums up these old perceptions.
The approach adopted by the United Kingdoms Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) could maybe summed up as the integration of rigorous work procedures and operator training. This, coupled with a growing statistical record of safe work, has led to a gradual reassessment of rope access in the workplace. It enables workers undertaking temporary work to access difficult places quickly and relatively cheaply, and to undertake inspections and a wide range of stabilizing and other works.
A Rope Access Technician is professionally trained and assessed by IRATA, SPRAT, or an equivalent which means that they are trained in such a manner that the technician can perform all sorts of tasks safely on rope. These certifications are given after assessment and when required standards are met.
Certified technicians are highly aware of their practice and with the rope access procedure. A logbook system over the last 25 years has shown that the chance of accident are nil, making the rope one of the greatest success stories since the 1990s
Industrial Rope Access Trade Association and the Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians are non-profit organizations.
Its message is clear and it is open to everyone and every company. It provides the customer with the guarantee that they are hiring good tradesmen who can do their jobs with full responsibility.
Safety standards are met because fail-safe equipment is used and, beside the working line (work positioning), a back-up line (fall protection) is used to give the user a 100% safe system to work with.
The costs of rope access are considerably lower then alternative solutions such as scaffolding. Rope systems are easily installed and the tasks are done quickly as well as efficiently by the technicians themselves.
Rope Access is safe, reliable, quick and efficient, making it one of the greatest success stories of the last 25 years.