Rope access is a method of work positioning and access that uses ropes and specialized equipment to allow workers to safely access hard-to-reach areas, such as the exterior of buildings, bridges, and other structures. It is often used as an alternative to traditional methods of access, such as scaffolding or cranes, when these methods are impractical or not cost-effective.
Rope access technicians are trained to use ropes and other specialized equipment to safely ascend, descend, and move laterally along a structure, allowing them to carry out a range of tasks such as inspection, maintenance, repair, and construction. Rope access technicians are trained to work safely at height, and are often required to hold certifications such as the International Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) certificate.
Rope access is used in a variety of industries, including construction, oil and gas, wind energy, and telecommunications. It is particularly useful in situations where access to a structure is difficult or where traditional methods of access are not practical, such as on steep or irregularly shaped surfaces, or in locations where scaffolding or cranes would be impractical or disruptive.