Rope access is considered by many to be the most efficient means of working at height, but we at Orb Rope Access still come across doubters who revert to more traditional methods such as scaffolding. 

To highlight the effectiveness of rope access techniques, we’ve put together a list of its benefits for working at height for building maintenance, construction projects and gaining access to high or hard-to-reach places.

What are the benefits of using rope access to work at height?

Compared with scaffolding, MEPWs (Mobile Elevating Work Platforms) and cranes, rope access provides many benefits:

  • Rope access is cost-effective

The specialised rope access equipment and number of workers needed to complete a job at height create less of a dent in the budget than the resources required in more traditional methods. 

The supply and construction of scaffolding incurs considerable cost, and the higher the building, the higher the cost of scaffolding!

MEPWs are expensive to commission, and the number of workers that can use them on a project is limited so there is less of a return on investment.

  • Workers on ropes can access many areas that scaffolding and platforms can’t

 

Many jobs such as the cleaning or inspection of structures and confined spaces such as silo tunnels, the inside of industrial chimneys, vessels, penstocks, tower structures and wind turbines can only be undertaken by rope access because scaffolding and platforms wouldn’t provide access to them.

The versatility of using rope access also allows for projects in hazardous conditions to be undertaken safely using expert techniques and IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trading Association) training. 

  • Jobs are completed more quickly and with less disruption using rope access

 

It is far quicker to install and dismantle rope access systems than scaffolding platforms or cranes. As such less personnel and man-hours are required to complete jobs.

Because scaffolding takes up so much room, permits are always required which can cause delays, whereas this is not always the case when using rope access. 

The bulky equipment needed for scaffolding and platforms often blocks entrances and outside areas, whereas rope access is less disruptive which minimizes downtime. By working from top to bottom from an anchored position, rather than the bottom up on a huge structure, people on the ground can get on with their daily jobs while the work at height gets done.

Rope access equipment is demobilised daily whereas scaffolding or cranes are left in situ for as long as the job takes to complete.

  • Rope access is more environmentally friendly than scaffolding, platforms or cranes

Rope access companies travel light in comparison because there is no requirement for the transport of large equipment to build locations, so there is less of an impact on the environment.

Unlike the traditional methods, rope access companies don’t need to use petrol, oil or electricity to gain access. 

  • Tight regulations ensure an exemplary safety record for rope access

 

Despite how scary it might seem, the rope access industry is so highly regulated by the 2005 Work at Height Regulations that it is widely considered to be the safest way to work at height. 

All workers within the rope access industry must be trained and assessed in accordance with the IRATA International Training, Assessment and Certification Scheme (TACS), thereby following the International Code of Practice (ICOP).

Having considered all the benefits, if you would like any further information about how Orb Rope Access can work with you for any project, please do get in touch.