Do you know what job brings you to great heights? Rope access. For those unfamiliar, you might ask yourself: what’s rope access? Don’t worry – you won’t be left hanging about all the details. Learn everything you need to know about rope access right here.
What Rope Access Entails
You can bet ‘rope’ is involved when it comes to rope access’ line of work. But what exactly does it entail? Rope access enables workers to access hard-to-reach places without scaffolding, cradles, or aerial platforms. It was initially developed from techniques used in climbing and caving, in which rope technicians become versed in work positioning. Rope technicians can descend, ascend, and traverse ropes for access and work while suspended by their harnesses. Thanks to its support system, these technicians can remain suspended without risking the likelihood of a fall. A redundancy system uses two ropes – one is a working line while the other is a safety one. In turn, it acts as a backup fall arrest system in case of the unlikely failure of the primary means of support. Sometimes, with some work, they are provided with a work seat.
Where is Rope Access Used?
Plenty of industries require the skills of a rope access technician. After all, some jobs need someone to access difficult-to-reach places. For the most part, you can expect rope access to be present in various industriel lines of work.
In geotechnical industries, they’re usually positioned on cliffs, deep within caves, or along steep roadsides, making it impossible to use means like scaffolding. Rope access technicians are a safer solution to environmental issues by preventing rock falls, stabilizing cliffsides, and even protecting historically significant land masses from erosion. They do this by scaling, drilling, cabling, meshing and inspecting natural structures.
Energy & Offshore Industries
You might be surprised to know rope access technicians work in oil and gas industries – especially offshore rigs. Since offshore rigs have limited space and strict safety requirements, the demand for rope access technicians with the right experience and qualifications is imperative.
After all, they would also need to possible do various jobs while harnessed, such as:
- Maintenance (welding, plating, rust removal, painting, repair work)
- Inspection (coating surveys, quality control, safety inspection)
- Construction (rigging, pipe fitting, electrical work)
Beyond the oil and gas industry, rope access is also found within the energy sector. These can take you to work locations at power stations, refineries, wind farms, and utility poles for repair and maintenance work. Also, they’re meant to help with safety. Wherever energy transmission and distribution are taking place, safety inspections and tests are essential in areas where access is most difficult.
Working on Buildings
Rope access can take you to various places. From natural structures to even the middle of the ocean, it’s also important to note rope access work can be seen in the city. You may notice some rope technicians on made-made structures like towers, bridges, radio masts, or dams. With some unique architectural buildings, rope access can ensure that whatever job is done on them can be completed. Like offshore duties, most of the rope access work in the city is the same. Mainly in the city, it would be toward maintenance, like cleaning and repairs.
The Benefits of Rope Access?
As you know, one of the biggest benefits of rope access is how it allows work to get done in hard-to-reach places. However, other benefits exist that are worth knowing. These include the following:
- Limit impact on plant production & downtown
- Reduce or eliminate the need for heavy equipment
It results in better efficiency while ensuring work is done safely. Furthermore, it’s a lot more cost-effective. You save more when you don’t need to worry about paying for certain equipment while still getting the necessary work done.
Rope access is a growing trade career for a reason. The pay is great, and plenty of work is found in various places. Plus, it’s been instrumental in being a cost-effective solution for industries and ensuring safety. Hopefully, you got a better understanding of what rope access is and appreciate all the work they do, from the local city skyscraper to the furthest offshore rig.