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What Is Rope Access?

July 19, 2023

When it comes to difficult-to-access areas of a building, sometimes the likes of a cherry picker or scaffolding aren’t right for the job. 

Rope access offers an extremely convenient option, especially as being secured by ropes allows for flexibility of movement. This means that teams can scale and cover large swathes of a building with ease, all while carrying out their tasks safely. 

Metreel is a leading UK supplier of abseil rail systems, which are a specialist type of rope access. 

Here’s what you need to know about this type of fall protection equipment. 

Rope Access: An Overview

Rope access can sometimes be referred to as abseil, industrial rope access or technical rope access. 

In the case of the rope access products we supply here at Metreel, our systems are intended for professional use in any industry that involves working at height. Some of our clients include construction or building maintenance teams as just two common examples.

How rope access works is that the proposed site will first undergo an initial safety assessment to see if rope access is suitable. If it is, technicians will look at what measures will need to be put in place when constructing the safety elements of the rope access system. 

Anchor points will then be established, and these are responsible for securing the rope and anyone attached to that rope. Specialist knots are applied to the rope itself to ensure strength and durability when in use. 

Safety checks are then performed on the mechanisms that allow for the ascent and descent of the structure or building. All fall protection equipment including rope access is also inspected before each use to ensure it is in good working order and is safe to use. 

Individuals who use rope access will also require IRATA training, and must also wear other required PPE such as a helmet. 

When all of these safety measures are complete, the aim is to have the individual secured and anchored so that they can complete their work with a much-reduced risk of sustaining a serious injury while working at a height. 

Rope Access Components

  • Ascenders
  • Harness
  • Helmets
  • Lanyards
  • Rappel devices
  • Ropes

When Is Rope Access Required?

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 has some clear advice about when rope access should be used so that employers remain compliant with the law. 

It’s good to note that there is no single industry or instance where rope access is required. Rather, the choice to use rope access is made when individuals need to work at height, including in difficult-to-access locations where other solutions are not suitable. In addition, if the individual is working in a confined space including below ground level. 

A common usage of rope access is building maintenance, though is far from exhaustive. 

Conducting a safety assessment can help determine if rope access is warranted. 

Discover Metreel Rope Access Systems – For Safety And Efficiency When Working At Height

metreel safety abseil from Metreel

As noted above, Metreel supplies abseil systems to businesses across the UK. 

Met-Track® Rigid Rail Abseil Systems boast free running trolleys providing ease of movement compared with typical abseil rails. Made from a range of aluminium or steel sections, we can install permanent or removable systems. 

For any business in search of rope access, Metreel can provide the safe and efficient solution you’re searching for. View our rope access product page to learn more.

Or download our free brochure to discover more about our product specifications by visiting our product brochure page. 

Alternatively, if you’re ready to place an order or have any questions, please give us a call on 0115 932 7010 or email us at [email protected].