Minimize Risk and Reduce Costs with Rope Access
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Minimize Risk and Reduce Costs with Rope Access

Rope access can be a safe, efficient and cost-effective option over traditional scaffolding. Using rope access can help minimize risk by reducing required work hours for scaffolding construction and teardown, and it can lower costs by eliminating the use of scaffolding materials. Rope access technicians must also undergo rigorous safety training, which increases their awareness on the jobsite.

A rope access team deploys highly trained technicians who use ropes moored by a series of secure anchor points to ascend upward of 200 feet in the air. Once in the air, these technicians perform a variety of skilled crafts including pipefitting, boilermaking, insulation, welding, and ironwork.

Safety First

As with any job, safety is the number one priority. Before a rope access team can be deployed, project managers must first assess whether or not it is a safe and viable option for the site. Early in the planning and risk assessment process, trained rope access technicians are sent to the site to identify the benefits—and potential risks—of using a rope access team. For example, if technicians cannot find enough secure anchor points to tie off the ropes, or if technicians cannot work out a proper rescue plan based on the location of the job, then traditional scaffolding may make more sense.

It’s About Time

Qualified rope access technicians have logged plenty of rope time before they even step on a jobsite. To be certified as a Level I technician by The Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA)  a worker must undergo 40 hours of classroom time, then be assessed on a jobsite by a third-party evaluator.

To level up requires a far greater commitment. IRATA requires 1,000 hours logged to reach Level II and another 1,000 hours for Level III, along with first aid training. Turner Specialty Services has Level II rope access technicians who are certified by both IRATA and The Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT), and a rope access manager who is certified Level III by both organizations.

Documented Cost Savings

Turner Specialty Services has already seen results from its rope access group. At one facility, the client saved more than $500,000 in the first quarter of 2019 through mechanical rope access. Long-term goals for the client include saving about $10 million annually in routine maintenance costs. At another facility, the group helped a client save more than $3 million in 2018 through the use of a non-destructive examination rope access team. Like with any job completed by Turner Specialty Services, rope access success relies upon a balanced approach that includes keeping an eye on steadfast growth while ensuring that safety and skill are paramount.

For more information contact Lance Wiebeck at or (225) 214-9142.

This article was published in the Summer 2020 issue of Tuner Industries’ Company Magazine. Click here to read the complete issue.