Rope Access Solutions for Work at Height

Rope Access Solutions for Work at Height

26th July 2019

When it comes to work at height, it’s essential that the right type of access equipment for the task at hand is chosen.  It’s a legal requirement here in the UK that a full risk assessment is carried out before work commences and that specific access solutions are in place for each different task.  Whilst ladders, walkways, scaffolding, elevated platforms are often the access method of choice, the use of rope access is one of the less conventional methods of gaining access to a work area.  This often represents a more flexible solution in a wide range of circumstances.

Rope access techniques offer a more responsive (and more affordable) way to get to some of the harder to reach and more awkward areas, especially on projects that are fast approaching their deadline and faced with an unexpected hurdle to overcome. 

It’s also the case that rope access techniques for some of the simpler inspection and maintenance tasks that are carried out on a regular basis on an ongoing basis.  Industrial rope access applications are used in an increasing number of situations nowadays, including:

  • Surveys and inspections
  • Maintenance work
  • Electrical and metal work on wind turbines, towers and industrial plants
  • Window cleaning on high rise buildings 

Safety is the most important issue for personnel who use rope access techniques and site managers and contractors should be fully aware of the following legislation:

Fall Protection Post
Fall Protection Post
  • Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR)
  • The Health and Safety etc. Act 1974 (HSW Act)
  • Relevant guidelines within PUWER, RIDDOR and PPE legislation

Any workers who are expected to use rope access must be fully trained, qualified and competent.  The lives of rope access technicians are dependent upon the equipment they use and all equipment should be fully tested and regularly maintained.  Whilst most of us will be aware that the equipment used will include ropes, harnesses, lanyards, rope protectors, etc., it’s essential to be aware that none of this equipment can be safely used unless it is securely fixed to an anchor point of some sort.

Here at Safety Fabrications, our wide range of access solutions includes our Ascent™ Structural Anchor Posts.  We initially launched the Ascent™ Fall Protection Post to address requirements when the load control of all fall protection systems was managed by the shock absorbers within the cable or wire in order to deflect the load back to the structure of the building being worked on.  Since then, we’ve added to our range with the Ascent™ Abseil Post and Ascent™ Davits for Fall Protection and Abseil.  We have supplied thousands of these posts, providing our customers with a solution tailored to their specific applications. 

All of our structural anchor posts are designed in accordance with current legislation and manufactured in keeping with our strict quality control procedures.  We take pride in working closely with our customers to provide them with a design option for attachment to a wide variety of structural backgrounds, including masonry, structural steelwork and structural timber.