Rope access is a series of techniques adopted from the mountain/rock climbing and caving sport worlds. It consists of a personal suspension system, which allows a technician easy movement on a set of temporary installed ropes.

Although climbing and caving has been dubbed “extreme sports”, the rope access industry has come a long way. Safety is the main concern with rigorous standards that have been established to provide a safe, quick, and cost effective means of solving access problems. It is the policy of Web Rope Access Solutions to perform all work according to the highest safety standards. All personnel and subcontractors used will be liable for a suitable certificate of competency. Albert Smit, director, has over 14 years of industry related experience. He has been a Level 3 for over a decade, and is an accredited IRATA trainer.

At the core of these standards is a rigorous training course that requires the technician to be assessed by an independent assessor, which all rope access technicians have undergone. The technician needs to do a refresher course and re-assessment every three years, so as to keep up with changes in equipment, techniques and standards of the industry.

The technician also has the choice to progress through three levels of competency, this broadens his / her knowledge of techniques and management of responsibility.

Second, but equally important to training, is the issue of supervision and quality workmanship. Every project must be supervised by a level three technician, who is responsible for all aspects of work. This includes setting up a job-specific risk assessment and method statement, implementing a rescue plan for every situation, site management, liaising with relevant parties and contractors as well as overseeing quality of work.

A third paramount issue is the use of safe and governed equipment. All safety equipment is classified as PPE and must adhere to relevant regulations and standards. PPE must carry a valid standard body stamp (i.e. EN, SABS, and UIAA). Equipment must also be inspected at regular intervals by a competent person for any defects or day to day wear and tear. In addition to this the equipment must be logged, indicating the time of exposure and longevity. Manufacturer recommendations must be followed at all times.

If all above requisites are adhered to, rope access techniques provide a safe and extremely versatile means of getting the job done.