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
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!!).
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
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.
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.
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.
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.