Pacific Ropes Blog

Understanding the IRATA L1 Syllabus: Hazard Avoidance and Rope Protection

The hazards IRATA is referring to in this part of their certification scheme, are specifically those which could damage your rope system or equipment. Generally, these hazards are specific to the structure you’re working on, and include sharp edges, abrasive surfaces, corrosive substances and heat sources.

These hazards can either be removed entirely or controlled by using rigging techniques, like y-hangs, deviations, and re-anchors. For less serious hazards, it may be appropriate to use a canvas rope protector to isolate the vulnerable section of your rope system. In some instances, you could use a combination of both methods. IRATA advises that, when possible, you arrange separate protections for each rope in your system. Here is the IRATA's rope and edge management video.

During your IRATA Assessment, all levels will be asked to demonstrate competence attaching wrap-around style rope protectors.

L2 and L3 certifying techs, will be asked to demonstrate competence identifying common hazards, and choosing/implementing appropriate methods of rigging and protection based on those hazards.

Your IRATA assessor will be watching to make that all levels:

  • Recognize the consequences posed by different hazards, and understand how to go about removing, avoiding, containing, or reducing them.
  • Understand how your behaviour while on the ropes my increase the risk of such hazards, if your moving around a lot.
  • Successfully achieve adequate protection for your rope system.

Your IRATA assessor will be watching to make that L2 and L3 certifying techs:

  • Implement the appropriate choice of rigging and protection.

All the hazard relevant to a site, will be detailed in the Risk Assessment.

We’ll cover all of this during your training week, and go into further detail on protection that is offered by various rope protections, and the hierarchical approach to assessing a site and putting together a risk assessment.

Additional resources to check out:

TACS 6.4.6 for the source material for this blog.

ICOP Part 2, 2.7 for information on ropes (for anchor lines).

ICOP Part 2, 2.7.10 for information on protectors for anchor lines.

ICOP Part 2.11 for primary rope access methods, including information on double protection and the anchor system.

ICOP Part 3, Annex P for recommended actions for the protection of anchor lines.


This is part of an ongoing series, where we’re breaking down IRATA’s syllabus and clarifying exactly what ‘demonstrating competence’ and ‘demonstrating awareness’ means, and what will be expected of you on assessment day. To learn more about the rest of the IRATA L1 Syllabus, click below:

Succeed your IRATA L1


Subscribe to Email Updates