IRATA Safety

Perhaps for the majority of people, asking someone to hang on ropes instead of standing on scaffolding feels the same as asking them to cross the street without looking both ways. How can IRATA Rope Access teams be safer? There are five IRATA audited components that each hold their own safety checks and balances in place. Together these five components create a synergy of work at height that is centered around one thing: safety.

Number 1-01


Trying to get my Supervisors to fill out 20+ forms a day is like trying to get a toddler to go to bed. A big useless fight. After discovering an app that can make all our safety paperwork electronic, mobile, and easy, we can finally keep up to IRATA's expectations and audit system. An IRATA team must conduct their Rope Access activities in accordance to their company's Rope Access Operating Procedures (RAOP), which is built upon IRATA's regulations (the ICOP)Think of it as the OHS for Rope Access! And the proof is through the many many audited forms we need to fill out. Now, if only there is an app to get my toddler to go to bed.

Program and Paperwork

Number 2-01


Sometimes having two of something is better than one. Like two scoops of ice cream. Rope Access is implemented on two ropes; the practice of redundancy. A rope access technician is attached independently to both these ropes, which are each independently rigged to separate anchor points. Every type of rigging and maneuver in rope access is based on this practice of redundancy. As proof of this methodology, all IRATA teams are expected to plan and record their rescue plans, risk assessments, and method statements (more paperwork!!).


Number 3-01


A technician told me once that despite having to work in the oil sands, far away from home, in a very industrial and cold environment, he still looked forward to flying out for his shifts. Why? Because of the camaraderie of his rope access team. In order to work as part of an IRATA team, each technician must have an IRATA certification; which is obtained by going through the IRATA training system. There are 3 levels within the training system. Graduating to each level requires a technician to have extensive hours on rope that are logged, detailed, and signed off by IRATA supervisors. Technicians have their rope competency tested by a third party assessor for impartiality. These checks and balances ensure IRATA technicians are held accountable to safe work at height and that they are there for each other.

Training and Personnel

Number 4-01


Just like you can't have a sports team without a captain, you can't have a safe rope access team without an IRATA Level 3 Supervisor. No job can be done without a supervisor on site to ensure safety, service, and quality. Besides the standard expectations of a Supervisor, a L3 Rope Supervisor is responsible for all rigging, maneuvers, equipment, and technician competency, and rescue procedures on site. To operate rope access without proper leadership is a gamble for safety, which is why all IRATA teams will have a qualified L3 Supervisor on site.


Number 5-01


When I went skydiving many years ago, the only thing I thought about as I jumped tandem out of the rickety, rushing airplane was that the parachute better open. Rope Access cannot be successful without proper Rope Access equipment. As per our regulation, we are never allowed to use any equipment outside it's intended purpose and design. An IRATA company also has the responsibility to identify, log, and inspect each individual piece of Rope Access gear on a scheduled basis to ensure competency. The equipment handling procedures are labour intensive with the sole purpose of ensuring our equipment stands up to the test when we are on rope! Our chutes always open.


WASA Report-01
I never appreciated the point of statistics until I met my statistics professor many years ago at UBC. He was so passionate about statistics, numbers, and patterns. It was odd to me but his excitement made me curious and soon I too began to see the beauty in the numbers. Because these numbers weren't static, they gave us insight into the minds and behaviors of human nature.
IRATA produces an annual Work And Safety Analysis report based on membership statistics. Below are links to the reports from the last three years. The goal of these reports is to grade our current health and safety performance as well as determine what actions need to be put into place in order to improve our performance as a membership.


WASA 2018

Download the 2018 report


Wasa 2017

Download the 2017 report


WASA 2016

Download the 2016 report

Safety Bulletins-01



Nothing is more unappetizing than reading articles from a Safety Blog. Scary kittens on instagram are much more appealing. But, when your feed eventually dries up, keep updated on rope access safety with our toolbox talks and safety regulations through this safety blog. Feel free to use these post at your next safety meeting or at a team meeting. Some recent posts are displayed below but click on the button to access the full blog. 

Safety Blog

Medical Kit-01-1


When I was younger, I thought helmets were geeky. The cool kids never wore their helmets on their bikes. Now, I see them as heroic because a helmet saved my husband's life. In efforts to pass along learned safety lessons so that others won't make the same mistakes, IRATA has created a process of releasing safety bulletins of OHS mishaps made from IRATA members. We are all human. We will make mistakes. Instead of condemning each other, let's learn from each other instead.

Safety Bulletins

Life of a Rope Tech-01

irata AUDIT vs cor

If you're a leader or an advocate in the health and safety world, you probably relate when I say I get frustrated having to manage so many different audits for various organizations, certifications, and associations. Especially, when they all are so similar. To give you perspective on the IRATA audit, here is a comparison of the IRATA audit to the BCCSA COR audit. IRATA vs COR

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