Rope access allows employees practical access to hard-to-reach areas without cradles, scaffolding, or an aerial work platform.

Rope access experts are in high demand today throughout a broad array of industries, covering a wide range of situations, skill sets, and job functions. As a result, there are numerous employment prospects in the rope access business. This need will continue to expand as higher structures, and more offshore assets are erected than ever before.

One such industry which requires rope access is the wind sector

Industrial turbines are notoriously large. The tallest standard towers measure 138 metres, with blade rotor diameters reaching spans as wide as 82 metres. Offshore turbines are typically more immense than their onshore counterparts.

To inspect, maintain, and repair these turbine blades, technicians need a safe way to access them. Most businesses use a mixture of rope-access and platforms to safely lift their workers to the heights needed to carry out this essential work.

Modern rope access

Ropes themselves have been used throughout history to allow access to elevated areas. Today, they are a critical part of working safely at heights.

Rope-access, as we understand it today, first emerged around the 1980s. Originally, the process used only one rope, but this caused many safety concerns.

It quickly became evident that a backup security safety rope to prevent falls was needed to maximise safety. Even if the mainline was compromised, safety would not be. This safeguard helped make the rope access system much more secure.

Rope access rapidly became the normal method for accessing inaccessible regions and heights. It was, and is, regarded as one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways to operate at height securely.

Businesses began to use rope access as soon as they realised the benefits. There are a variety of training alternatives available today to help rope access professionals gain the skills they need to work safely at height with ropes.

A lot has changed since this time. Today, rope access is much safer and less labor-intensive than when it first developed.

In 1987, IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) was established. As a leader in rope access, this association propelled safety and access improvements for many different industries reliant on rope access technicians.

Further improvements: Power ascenders and Skylotec

Skylotec is a fall protection company providing superior equipment for working at height for over 70 years.

Altitec is a preferred Skylotec distributor, authorised to provide specialist equipment, training, and equipment servicing to those working on wind turbines.

One of the most popular advances in rope access is power ascenders. These automate the ascension process for both people and equipment. They take out the heavy lifting and make reaching elevated areas much quicker and easier. 

Today, professions like wind turbine technicians that require working at heights are much safer and less strenuous thanks to these rope access developments.

The Altitec Team
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