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What Is Rope Access? - How Does It Work?

As specialists in complete rope access solutions, our team is accustomed to meeting clients who don’t quite understand what “rope access solutions” actually means. Is there a specific meaning behind the term rope access? Well, yes! And luckily for you, we’re always happy to explore the topic. Read on for an overview of anything you could need to know about abseiling, rope access and how rope access works.

Rope Access Meaning

Rope access solutions are methods of accessing difficult-to-reach areas with the use of securely fastened ropes, anchor points and harnesses. Are you familiar with the concept of someone descending deep into a cave? It’s a lot like that, except—for property maintenance contractors like us—on the outside of buildings or structures instead of caves. 

The image of abseiling into a cave might sound worryingly dangerous, but make no mistake, we at Spectrum make sure to follow all the proper rope access safety requirements outlined by the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA). More on them later.

In a nutshell, rope access solutions are a quick, safe and cost-efficient way to operate at great heights or on difficult-to-traverse structures. In addition, our rope access methods, with portable anchor points, are incredibly flexible, able to suit a wide range of unique situations and structures. No matter how specialised your rope access contractor is, though, rope access solutions are significantly cheaper and less obstructive than the next-best alternative, scaffolding, which is why our clients vastly prefer them.

Rope Access Uses

The potential use cases for rope access solutions are too numerous to count, so we’ll restrict ourselves to talking about how our clients have benefitted from rope access trade solutions (still a large list, mind you). 

For starters, our roof cleaning and repair service would be more time-consuming, costly and dangerous without high-end rope access equipment. It’s an invaluable tool for window cleaning, repairs and double-glazing installation too—particularly in high-rise buildings. Rope access solutions enable our clients to have thorough leak detection and repair work done quickly and with minimal disruption. Plus, our advanced rope access methods mean that we can repair, clean, install or reinforce high-level guttering and down-pipes. That’s just scratching the surface of how rope access trade solutions offer outstanding value to our clients. They can also be used for:

How Rope Access Works

Even when you know what it is, understanding how rope access works can still be tricky. Fortunately, as a contracting team operating in and around London, we have developed with advanced rope access at the heart of our skill-set. So if you’re looking for an easy-to-understand explanation you’ve come to the right place.

Our IRATA-certified method involves two ropes, a bounce-free static rope and a backup rope. On one side of these ropes is a harness, which our operators climb into; on the other side, the ropes are securely attached to an anchor point, which is in turn attached to the building. With this 100% secure setup, our team is able to descend high-rise buildings, traverse uneven structures and reach the most obscure locations—all completely safely. 

What Is IRATA Rope Access?

You might be wondering, “is rope access safe?” Sadly, there are contractors who use unsafe rope access methods. That’s why when it comes to enlisting a contractor for complete rope access solutions, IRATA certification matters. IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) has been the authority in safe rope access standards for the last 25 years, and it’s respected across the entire industry. 

IRATA provides thorough training and certification for safe, effective rope usage. There are over 100,000 IRATA certified technicians around the world. Needless to say, at Spectrum, all of our operators are IRATA certified; you shouldn’t have to settle for anything less.

Why Rope Access with Spectrum?

Spectrum strives to operate with complete flexibility in the name of achieving perfection for our clients. If there’s a quirk in your building that makes the by-the-book approach unfeasible, we’ll put our heads together to arrive at a solution for you, no matter how long it takes.

In addition, we also specialise in maintaining, repairing and restoring historically or culturally significant sites, which tend to be more fragile than typical structures. Our rope access toolkit involves portable anchor points, which don’t pose a risk of damaging architecture like typical anchor points. 


Now that you know how rope access works, you can better understand what you’re looking for in terms of seeking rope access trade solutions. At Spectrum, we pride ourselves in working to the highest rope access regulations: we’re certified by IRATA and routinely go beyond what is outlined at the outset of a project in the name of outstanding results.

If you’re interested in discussing how Spectrum’s rope access solutions can help bring your building back to its former splendour, feel free to get in touch. We’d be more than happy to speak with you.

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