Although rope access is an accepted form of access, we continue to hear questions about this versatile access method and how it fits into the workplace. Lets take a few minutes to understand how rope access fits into industrial projects.
Rope access techniques can be used by any organization that conducts work at height. Prior to the advent of rope access, the following access methods were commonly used:
- Structural climbing with fall arrest systems
- Crane with a suspended personnel platform (man basket)
- Aerial Work Platform
Nearly any job that can be accessed using the above methods can use rope access as an alternative or as a complementary method of access for specific parts of the work site that are not practical for the other methods.
What is Rope Access
“Rope access refers to a set of techniques where ropes and specialized hardware are used as the primary means of providing access and support to workers. Generally a two-rope system is employed: the working rope supports the worker and the safety rope provides back-up fall protection.”
In other words, Rope Access is a method of accessing and supporting a technician. In that sense it differs little from the other access and support methods described previously although that is where the similarity ends. Rope Access is a way to get somewhere and do work.