If you have a job that needs to be done at height your first thought is going to be “how do we get up there?” Yet for many jobs that might be precisely the wrong question to be asking. Instead, maybe you should be thinking about “how can we get down to there?” and your thoughts will inevitably turn to a rope access solution.
Traditional methods of access – reaching high spaces with scaffolding, cranes and lifts – can be inflexible and costly. Of course, there are always going to be situations where traditional methods are preferable, but for many jobs, rope access offers a feasible alternative.
It can be quicker
Many high-level jobs are difficult just because they are at height. In order to reach the location, scaffolding or lifts are required which take time to set up, and, when the job is finished, takes time to dismantle. A rope access technician requires only sufficient set-up time to perform the necessary safety checks before they can descend and start work.
It can be cheaper
Of course, if you aren’t hiring extra equipment to do a job, you are saving that cost from your budget immediately. However, rope access can help keep costs down in other ways as well. With no scaffolding at ground level, there are situations where work can be taking place that otherwise would have been impeded. In fact, on some projects, you could save from upwards of 50% of your budget by using rope access.
Safety is second-nature
Rope access technicians are subject to stringent safety regulations and plan their work from a safety first point of view. Ropes are checked, double checked, and continually monitored. Tools and materials are secured, and safety protocols become instinctive. The whole industry lives and breathes safety and that results in rope access technicians being statistically proven to be amongst the safest personnel in the construction and maintenance industry!
It offers greater flexibility
Ropes can go places traditional access methods can’t. Ropes can be lowered from the top of buildings or allow access into confined and awkward spaces. Ropes can be used to access structures such as bridges and oil rigs or onto cliff faces where there may be no solid ground to rest a scaffold or situate a crane. Jobs don’t need to be planned months in advance to co-ordinate arranging access and bringing in the necessary tradesmen – rope access operatives are tradespeople who have simply added extra skills. If you need a stadium light fixed at height, you simply choose an electrician with rope access training.
Scaffolding takes ground space. This could mean blocking pavements, restricting access or impeding the work of other groups. Since rope access is from above, not below, and doesn’t require bulky equipment, it can take place almost invisibly.
Obviously, rope access isn’t viable for all work at height jobs, but next time you’re faced with a task at height, it might be worth looking into rope access as a solution. It could save you time and money, as well as providing a safer working practice to boot.