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      Toolbox Talk: Knots at the end of Ropes

      IRATA has created various topic sheets for us to use as Toolbox Talk Topics. In each topic sheet, they've included case studies to help us visualize the reality of these hazards. In this post, we talk about Topic Sheet #8: Knots in the end of ropes.

      During training, we teach the importance of tying knots (ex. Stopper knots) at the end of your ropes in order to prevent you from unintentionally descending off your ropes! This potentially catastrophic hazard is easy to control. Yet, can be forgotten easily. 

      How can this happen?
      We are all human and therefore imperfect. This means we can make mistakes from time to time. Whether we intentionally make these mistakes or make them during lapses in judgement, they all can lead to the same undesired outcomes. This is why in our risk assessments, we try to foresee all our hazards and implement proper controls in order to minimize the negative consequences in case we make these mistakes. 

      How can we control our forgetfulness for stopper knots?
      Here are a few things we can do to minimize our forgetfulness when creating stopper knots in our ropes:

      • Buddy check your rigging! Get your colleague or Supervisor to double check before your throw your ropes over the edge.
      • Review your method of work before starting. Go through the whole process from beginning to end to ensure your ropes are long enough. Remember to tie stopper knots!
      • If you haven't been on ropes for awhile, find some refresher training so that you remember what you need to do. Or, come to our open gym nights!
      • Discuss this toolbox talk at work on a regular basis! A simple 15 minute toolbox talk once a month on this will help you and your colleagues remember the simple things that will save your lives.
      • Use memory tools. What memory aids will help you remember? Is it a reminder on your phone? Big sign in your rope bag? Write it on your hand?

      To use this toolbox talk at work, please click here to download the IRATA Topic Sheet No. 8-Knots in the end of ropes. At the end of this document is a form in which you can use to record the Toolbox Talk.