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The Ultimate Guide to Rope Access - Professional Rope Access Service

Regardless of the season, we can be sure the great British weather will have us scurrying for our umbrellas and raincoats. But, on the flip side, we also enjoy some stunning scenery. Glorious summer sunshine, bright orange autumnal sunsets and cold winter nights take hold of our gaze, providing both inspiration and wonder for our city workers tapping away in their high-rise offices.

A building's exterior sends out a statement of intent for the workers arriving and the companies leasing the property. We know it is so important to keep up appearances, cleaning the façade, polishing the ceiling-high windows, wiping away the rain marks, plus the occasional window cleaner suddenly appearing in the middle of a tense boardroom meeting, instantly lightening the mood. 

In scenes reminiscent of a 007 style escape from the bad guys, rope technicians use a practice called rope access to descend, ascend, and traverse ropes suspended by their harness, carrying out essential maintenance tasks. Our superheroes navigate around dangerous obstacles, nimbly sneak into hard-to-reach places, whilst performing a range of property refurbishment services.

What is Rope Access?

Rope access, which allows workers to scale the exterior of your building, originates from rock climbing and caving pursuits. Someone, somewhere, must have had a lightbulb genius moment, which removes the need to create scaffolds, cradles, or aerial work platforms. Removing these unnecessary eyesores allows rope access technicians to carry out the exterior cleaning services a company like ours provides in urban city centres.

Rope access creates minimal impact on other operations ongoing in the local area and the environment. The work can often be carried out swiftly and efficiently, reducing costs and safety risks associated with other exterior access solutions.

The support of the rope is intended to eliminate any chance of a fall but be reassured there are backup fall systems in place. Two ropes, a working line and a safety line, work in tandem to protect the workers. 

We know property and building managers are preoccupied with the appearance of your building. There are times when scaffolding isn’t a practical choice for the project and rope access will deliver your desired outcome in a simple and efficient manner. However, not everyone has used a rope access solution before, so let’s put your mind at ease by investigating the safety aspect further. 

How safe is Rope Access?

Let’s take a moment to reflect on the incredible rope access safety record, even at extreme heights. We are members of The IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) with each member required to meet strict guidelines and rules to ensure the highest safety standards. 

A rope access technician has experience with rope techniques by participating in training courses and by carrying out their duties. An IRATA certified rope access technician will have been trained to work safely at height with rope access.

Since the 1980s, there have been a handful of accidents, partly down to the requirement to submit all accidents, incidents and near misses. The industry evaluates any trends which might require further improvement in both equipment and safety practices. 

Careful planning and risk assessments are drawn up and documented for each project too. We hope that puts your mind at rest!

Where do you use rope access?

There are over 1700 high-rise buildings in London alone. Nobody, from tourists to residents to commuters, would want to cast their eye over the city skyline and see these iconic monuments dotted with scaffolding!

Rope access equipment can be assembled and disassembled relatively swiftly, reducing man-hours, and improving on-site efficiency. By leaving the bulky, expensive equipment associated with exterior works, property managers are often pleasantly surprised to find costs are reduced with rope access solutions. 

Rope access reduces the challenges of maintenance and assembly posed by traditional scaffolding and aerial work platforms while retaining the ability to safely reach previously inaccessible places.  

Furthermore, from an environmental standpoint, rope access leaves minimal impact. Without the need to transport heavy equipment to and from the site, emissions are vastly reduced. 

Saving on the bottom line

The longer teams need to be on-site, the more the costs increase. In a world where we’re all focussed on the bottom line, rope access dramatically cuts down costs, red tape and inconvenience.

The longer a job takes, the more money it costs the business. Of course, that applies if scaffolding is being used, as there are more materials and a longer build and drawdown time. High labour costs then need to be factored in. Potential customers may be put off from entering if scaffolding obscures the entrance or key signage. Rope access however just requires the technicians and materials (i.e., the ropes) to scale up and down the building. 

Rope access can be used on almost any type of building. From high-rise apartments and office towers to listed heritage buildings and tourist monuments, rope access technicians can scale up and down to carry out the maintenance, restoration, and cleaning services you require.

Rope access technicians can make the job look super easy, but it’s worth remembering they are highly skilled operatives. Just like our 007 hero, rope access technicians have undergone extensive training and development to safely operate in all conditions. With a vastly superior safety record to our nation’s favourite secret agent, rope access technicians will ensure your building remains sparkling in all its glory, whatever the British weather must throw at it! Could our Abseiling Access service be used in your next property refurbishment project? Click here to learn more about our Abseiling Access service here or click here for a free consultation!

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