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How Safe is Rope Access?

With virtually any trade, especially those in construction and related industries, you are going to be dealing with a number of inherent risks. Use of industrial machinery, transport of heavy building materials, and just moving around a site that is still under construction all carry risk of serious injury and working at height is no exception. Seeing a rope access technician suspended hundreds of feet up in the air will tend to make most people anxious; it naturally seems more hazardous than someone working at the same height with their feet firmly planted on the planks of a scaffolding structure.

But despite appearances, the reality is that rope access is usually the safest option for working at height. In this blog, we take a look at why that is and explain how rope access came to be the preferred option for most tradies working high above ground level.

There Are Strict Safety Standards & Procedures

Rope access first emerged as an alternative to scaffolding for use in industries such as construction, oil and gas, civil engineering, and much more in the early 1980s, taking inspiration from the technology and techniques employed by recreational rock climbers of the preceding decades. At this time, there were few hard-and-fast safety procedures and no official oversight bodies, and as a result, there were a number of tragic accidents around the world.

This led rope access technicians to form unions and organisations to promote and protect the safety of industrial abseilers. The most prominent of these was IRATA, the world’s leading authority on industrial rope access for over 25 years. Today, IRATA sets the global guidelines and standards that have made industrial rope access the safest option for trade workers, technicians, and crafts people working at height.

Time is of the Essence

One of the things that initially made rope access so appealing to commercial industries was the massive speed advantage it had over scaffolding. Scaffolding takes time to design, prepare, transport, and build, and then more time to dismantle and take away. Not only this, it is also highly intrusive, taking up a huge amount of space on the worksite, reducing access to other areas and meaning that whole other parts of the building process have to go on hold until the scaffolding has been removed. By comparison, rope access is typically three times as fast.

In addition to the obvious advantages of hugely reduced downtime and the associated cost savings, one of the hidden benefits of rope access’ increased speed was increased safety. The longer workers spend working at height – or indeed, on the worksite at all – the greater the risk of injury. By shaving off two thirds of the time required on site, rope access reduces the chances for workers to suffer a mishap. 

Why Choose Max Access?

Max Access provides working-at-height services for a wide variety of Australia industries, from construction and cleaning to oil and gas and many more. Our team of technicians and trades people are all highly experienced and qualified, and we apply the maximum safe work methods on every job to ensure unparalleled safety. 

Contact Max Access Now

No job is too big or too small, and we apply the same standards for safety, quality, and service on every job. To speak to one of our team members, head to the contact section of our website and get in touch by phone or email.

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