Working as a Rope Access Technician
Do you need work inspection or maintenance work conducted at height? If you have started researching your options, you may have come across alternatives to scaffolding and MEWPs where workers use industrial ropes instead of platforms to reach high or difficult to reach areas. You may have even noticed people working in this way in real life, on bridges repairing metalwork or cleaning windows on office blocks.
This technique of reaching high and awkward access areas is known as Industrial Rope Access and is used in a variety of industries such as offshore oil and gas and construction on a range of different buildings and structures including wind turbines, oi rig platforms and bridges.
Rope Access technicians are the workers specially trained and qualified to complete these kinds of services in awkward access areas. Depending on the level of qualification a rope access technician has they may complete such work as:
- Commercial cleaning and painting
- Inspections, NDT and safety surveys
- Maintenance work and repairs.
How to Become a Rope Access Technician
IRATA International, the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association is the recognised body for rope access qualifications in the UK. Rope Access Technicians can work towards three different levels of qualifications: Level One (trainee), Level Two (General Operator) and Level Three (Supervisor). You can read more about the different levels in the post linked here.
What Do Rope Access Technicians Need to Consider?
Rope access is a physically demanding job and requires workers to be physically fit and preferably with an aptitude for heights. People with experience in abseiling and caving may find picking up the rope handling techniques easier for example. People with experience in a trade such as an electrician may also find it easier to find work post qualification; nowadays the industry is becoming more competitive and rope access technicians with specialist skills are often preferable.
IRATA qualifications are valid for three years from date of assessment with full retraining required after the qualification expires. Rope access technicians must regularly practice the technique in order for their qualification to remain valid, if they do not complete rope access for six months they will need to complete a refresher course.
Looking for an Experienced Rope Access Company?
Inspection & Rope Access Specialists are an industrial rope access company with many years' experience in providing rope access and work at height services on a range of structures and buildings in the UK and throughout Europe. Within our team we have Level Three IRATA qualification Rope Access Supervisors. For more information read about our Rope Access Services or contact us to discuss your project.