What is Rope Access?

Rope Access (RA) is a safe, efficient and cost-effective method of creating a workplace at height.
This is because, in general, a short lead time can be realised.
By combining multiple disciplines, Rope Access has minimal impact on parallel activities and processes.

Over the years, Rope Access safety has evolved greatly in the industry.
Various international standards and legislation have emerged regarding safety & quality concerning working methods but also for personnel and materials to be used.

Originally, the techniques come from mountaineering and speleology, but today there are few similarities to these sports. Rope Access techniques have been significantly modified and further developed for use in industry over the past 20 years.

Rope Access is an exclusive method of temporary work positioning. This technique applies to situations where 'lines' are used as a primary means of support and for vertical and/or horizontal transport to or from a work site.
This allows specialists to be supported in their work after an extensive instruction with Rope Access.
Consider, for example, inspectors of steam equipment.

Due to the lack of Dutch legislation and specific work systems whereby RA work can be carried out safely, TOTALIS uses the IRATA work methodology.
IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) is an umbrella body that ensures that safety and quality of Rope Access is ensured and adhered to.
IRATA's working methodology complies with the applicable European Directives for working at height but is also applied worldwide.

For more information, please visit http://www.irata.org.

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Law and Legislation

Guidelines for working at heights stated in Government Gazette 2004 279 can be viewed here.

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The use of our multidisciplinary staff allows us to compile a team for each project that is best suited for the job.

Wall thickness measurements of a carbon steel column at a height of 40 metres.
This is executed by a team of at least two people.

  1. Assembly ropes for Rope Access
  2. Insulation removal
  3. Coating removal
  4. Performing wall thickness measurements
  5. Repairs by photo welder
  6. Performing NDT on the spot of repair
  7. Coating application
  8. Insulation installation

Normally, this work would be performed by five different firms.
It is clear that due to the particular compact working method and use of a multidisciplinary team, there are many advantages due to the reduction of alignment losses, e.g.:

  • Shorter lead time
  • One contact person
  • Safety
  • Less administrative work

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IRATA Certificate

IRATA stands for Industrial Rope Access Trade Association and was created in the 1980s to ensure safety for the industry as a result of the growing number of companies engaged in industrial rope techniques.

The IRATA certificate that can be obtain via a course with exam is recognised worldwide and is proof that the person is qualified to perform Rope Access work in a safe and controlled manner.

IRATA distinguishes between 3 levels where 1 is the lowest and 3 is the highest.

The course lasts for 5 days (4 days of classes, 1 exam day)

Requirements for IRATA level 1:
- Minimum age of 18 years
- Physically and medically fit
- No experience necessary
- No fear of heights
Capabilities with IRATA level 1:
- Performing work under the supervision of an IRATA level 3
- Responsible for own rope access equipment
Requirements for IRATA level 2:
- Minimum 12 months and 1,000 hours experience as an IRATA level 1
- Physically and medically fit
Capabilities with IRATA level 2:
- Rope installations and rescue, including transport over ropes under the supervision of an IRATA level 3
Requirements for IRATA level 3:
- Minimum 12 months and 1,000 hours experience as an IRATA level 2
- Physically and medically fit
- A valid first aid certificate
- A written recommendation from an IRATA certified company
Capabilities with IRATA level 3:
- Supervising rope access projects
- Up to date on advanced rescue techniques
- Familiar with relevant work techniques and legislation

For questions or more information, please email info@totalis.nl.

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