Mythbuster - changing your perception of rope access

Whether you’re looking for maintenance, repairs, cleaning, restoration or even painting, rope access is one of the safest ways in the high-access industry to carry out all of these tasks.

Yet, despite this, there are so many myths that float around questioning how safe rope access actually is. That’s why we’re here to set the method straight and keep you in the knowledge that whatever job you need help with, we’re the team to reach out to.

Here are some of the most common myths surrounding rope access that we hear.

Workers are only attached by a rope, it isn’t safe
This is completely untrue, and scares us a little, too! We would not allow our employees to go up into the air simply attached by one ‘rope’. Firstly, rope access technicians are attached by two ropes, which are both specially designed for the work at hand.

Each rope is independently anchored to the building, so if one was to become loose, a fail-safe system is in place. Technicians also always work in teams and are trained up to safely assist each other in the unlikely event of an incident.

Technicians’ tools could fall and hurt someone!
Once again, this is where the fail-safe system comes into play. All tools remain attached to the technician at all times, so there is no chance of anything falling and hurting someone at ground level. This is much safer than scaffolding, where tools do not have to be attached to the worker and can fall if they miss the scaffolding.

Employees only need to be trained up in rock climbing to get a job
All of our technicians are certainly trained up in more than just rock climbing or bouldering. In fact, every technician has to clock up a thousand hours of experience before even starting a training course.

All of our employees have been trained by IRATA, the International Rope Access Trade Association, and have to take a refresher course every three years to keep up to date with the latest safety precautions and legislation in place.

It’s so expensive to hire a rope access team
Rope access can be much cheaper than scaffolding as you don’t have to pay for the time it takes to put all of the scaffolding up, and take it all back down again. Rope access systems are actually very quick and easy to set up safely and cause less disruption to the building being worked on. Fewer technicians can also complete a job much quicker than scaffolders, meaning increased production and minimal cost for the client.

Technicians won’t be able to access all areas of buildings
Wrong. Technicians can actually reach hard-to-get areas much easier than those working with scaffolding as they have more freedom to move around. In fact, rope access is sometimes the only option for buildings where conventional methods would simply not get the job done, such as those with chimneys, domed roofs, and ducting.