What is rope access?
Rope access refers to a set of techniques where ropes and specialized hardware are used for work at height. A two-rope system is employed: the working rope provides access and support for the worker and the safety rope provides an independent back-up system.
Why use rope access?
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.
• 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
Some examples of common rope access applications include:
• Structural inspections and non-destructive testing (NDT)
• Sealant installation and surface preparation
• Sand blasting and pressure washing
• Concrete repair
• Instrument installation
• Rock scaling and anchoring
• Photography and cinematography
• Set installation
• Geological surveys
Is rope access compatible with conventional methods like scaffolding?
Absolutely, there are some applications where a combination of conventional methods (scaffolding, swing stages, or temporary platforms) and rope access techniques are the best way to get the job completed safely and efficiently. In some cases, rope access methods are used to erect temporary scaffolds or provide access to the platforms.