Hanging in There: Rope Access Inspections Deliver Safety, Speed & Results

May 10, 2023 | < 1 min read

When it comes to difficult inspections, Industrial Inspection & Analysis (IIA) never leaves our clients hanging. In cases involving confined spaces or elevations, we call upon a unique breed of inspector.

Seemingly fearless, rope access certified inspectors skillfully navigate tricky inspection scenarios using a system of ropes to climb, descend or move laterally across the structure or site. From wells to wind turbines, bridges and beyond, rope access inspections are used in an array of industries and situations.

Using techniques that originated in the climbing and caving sectors, the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) certifies personnel to safely use rope access techniques in a wide range of repair, maintenance and inspection work.

Technicians who earn the Level 1 IRATA rope access certification are trained to safely lift and lower themselves on a set of ropes, as well as different techniques to maneuver around structures and obstacles. This eliminates the need for a second person to maneuver the ropes from above.

While they are not commonplace, IIA’s rope access jobs typically involve visual, ultrasound or magnetic particle testing of steel components.

Clearly, rope access jobs are not for the faint of heart. (Claustrophobes and acrophobes need not apply.)

In light of the inherent dangers of working at heights and in confined spaces, Level 1 rope access technicians never work solo. They always work alongside at least two other certified personnel for the purpose of rigging (Level 2) and rescue (Level 3). Detailed planning for potential rescues is part of every job.

In spite of the risks, rope access inspections are extremely safe compared to other alternatives. In fact, safety and speed are the main advantages of rope access techniques.

According to IRATA, “Rope access methodology boasts an unrivalled safety record, short set-up and dismantling time, positive environmental benefits and removes the need for invasive access equipment or disruption to a worksite.”

If you’re at the end of your rope with a difficult inspection situation, rope access by qualified personnel may deliver the answers you need.

Does your inspection challenge call for rope access expertise?

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