The professional activity of “rope access companies“, or “worker of temporary work at height using ropes” (name with reference to decree 924 of September 1, 2004 [archive]) is characterized by the design, organization and realization of ” a rope access system (which must be standardized according to the ISO 22846-1 & ISO 22846-2 standards) combined with a fall arrest system (which must be standardized according to the EN standard NF 363).
techniques for accessing and positioning the workstation by means of ropes are prohibited in principle by article R4323-64 [archive], and are subject to strict intervention conditions; in particular defined by article R4323-89 [archive].
The development of these two systems is made by assembling metal and textile elements of the type “Personal Protective Equipment” (PPE) of class 3 (that is to say protecting against the fatal risk of falling) standardized. : rope standardized to EN 1891-A, anchoring device standardized to EN 795-B, connector standardized to EN 362, etc.
The objective of making this work equipment is to access a workstation to carry out a task (masonry, painting, window washing, waterproofing, etc.) at height; while permanently protecting workers against the risk of falling. Temporary work at height using ropes is used in all areas of activity (industry, construction, public works, events, etc.).
this professional activity is not identified to date by a specific NAF (Nomenclature of French Activities) code. However, it is reported under the code APE (Main Activity Exercised) 4399 D “Other specialized construction work” 2, 3. On the other hand, this profession is identified by the Pôle Emploi under the code ROME I1501: Intervention at great heights [archive] under various names such as “Cordiste nacelle” or “Alpiniste du Bâtiment.”
“Rope climber is a profession that is most often practiced in suspension on ropes, or more generally through the use of personal fall protection equipment. The rope access technician has essential knowledge (knowledge) and technical skills (know-how) defined by technical standards, acquired through qualifying training and professional experience.
Rope access interventions require:
the mobilization of trained and certified personnel, competent, physically and psychologically fit;
the use of equipment complying with regulatory requirements, controlled, maintained in good condition and sufficient quantity;
an organization based on a risk assessment and continuous improvement process, formalized operating procedures, including adapted rescue plans;
Effective supervision of operations. This set of concepts is intrinsically vital for rope access technicians and all other third parties involved in a site where rope access technicians are working.
The rope access technician is mainly defined by his skills in mastering the means of access and positioning at the workstation and the evacuation of this post, especially in an emergency, but necessarily requires one or more other operational skills at the workstation
The IRATA International Rope Access System is a safe method of working at heights, where ropes and their related materials are used to access and leave a working position and be supported there.
The advantage of access methods employing ropes lies mainly in the safety and speed with which workers can get to difficult places or carry out their work, often having minimal impact on other activities, surrounding areas, and the environment itself. Another major advantage is the reduction in the total number of hours and the level of risk of a particular task (hours of labor working in a risky way) compared to other means of access and the associated risks and costs. .
The primary purpose of rope access methods is to get the job done with minimal accidents, incidents, or hazardous situations. To ensure a working method aimed at continuous safety while avoiding material damage or harming the environment, documented risk assessments and careful planning are undertaken for each job.
Like any other method of working at heights, roping access should be viewed as a comprehensive system in which planning, management, skills, and adequate equipment should be addressed separately. equal, because each depends on the other if we want to guarantee a safe way of working.