Rope Access - A Better Alternative?

There are many different ways to achieve a safe place of work, rope access is just one alternative, but an equal one!



Alternative Access Logistics was launched in 2010; the most recent stage in Peter Walkers 40 year career in working at height / access. As a quick synopsis; the business provides a wide range of height/ access solutions, from labour only IRATA Rope Access operatives, through to fully bespoke, permanent and temporary engineered access systems. Our philosophy on access is both the key to our success (what differentiates us) and our key source of challenge. Our philosophy states that there are alternatives to working at height which hold their own against the likes of scaffolding, cherry pickers and BMUs; namely Industrial Rope Access.†Rope Access does not carry logistical complications (erecting and dismantling) nor the cost of wasteful labour hours and plant. Commercial acumen questions the need to spend a week preparing for a 5 minute job.†Industrial Rope Access creates minimal architectural impact and very little in terms of ongoing maintenance cost, much different to the burden of a BMU. A recent project challenged Peter to find an alternative to a BMU. A rope access solution was engineered creating a Multi £m project saving, not to mention tens of thousands per year in maintenance cost saved. The solution also eradicated the architectural impact of a 33m & 75 tonne BMU. According to the HSE Hierarchy of Control Measures - abseiling is considered the least safe option. In 2011 the RIDDOR statistics for fatalities within the construction industry totalled 50. None of which were industrial rope access accidents, in fact there have been 2 abseiling deaths in 10 years, only 1 of which was onshore. This is credited to IRATA's thorough training requirements, qualification and experience - skilled industrial rope operatives endure a minimum of 2000 logged hours and 2 years of experience before they can abseil at level 3 standard. Applying reasonable practicability, we believe Industrial Rope Access provides a favourable option against both risk and cost; though it is not always considered amongst the alternatives. Our challenge is to educate and problem-solve; slowly changing attitudes about access. There are many different ways to achieve a safe place of work, Rope Access is just one alternative, but an equal one!