Setting standards for industrial mountaineering by IRATA
We offer a rope access course for industrial purposes - compliant with BS 7985.
The Ergon Centre does not organise IRATA courses at this time.
Industrial climbing is based on climbing techniques and rope access methods, as well as the use of specialised equipment. It is used in various types of work performed at heights, such as renovation, assembly, technical inspections of various types of structures, and many others.
The techniques, equipment capabilities and tools used by mountaineers are supported and developed by large organisations such as IRATA, OTDL and SPRAT.
When it comes to industrial alpinism, it is impossible not to mention IRATA International (IRATA), which has already secured a special place in the history of this technical discipline. It is IRATA that is the undisputed world authority in the field of industrial rope access.
Creation of IRATA
IRATA is an organisation that was founded in 1988. It was initially established to provide maintenance capabilities for facilities related to the oil and gas industry. Representatives from these industries took the initiative to establish an organisation to integrate knowledge in the use and development of rope access techniques. IRATA has expanded its activities and rope access techniques have improved and found application in many other industries.
What does this international organisation promote?
IRATA promotes values relevant to industries using rope access techniques for industrial purposes. The organisation aims to reconcile high safety standards with quality standards in the performance of work at height. It seeks to popularise good working practices among both employees and employers who use rope access methods. IRATA also disseminates good practice in training people to work in rope access conditions for industrial purposes and promotes rope access techniques as a good alternative to other methods.
IRATA member companies
Companies that are members of IRATA must meet certain entry requirements and are subject to monitoring and evaluation. These activities are aimed at ensuring the standards required and popularised by IRATA - in terms of quality and safety of both training and work. As a result of the audits and enforcement of the requirements, the annual health and safety analysis records a low percentage of accidents and safety incidents among IRATA member companies.
The best known entitlement classification system
The first documented certification system was developed by the IRATA organisation in 1992. Today it comprises training and qualification guidelines, mainly related to the area of safety. Since the introduction of these regulations, IRATA qualifications have become the industry standard for workers using rope access methods for industrial purposes. IRATA is constantly developing requirements and recommendations in the area of rope access techniques and is committed to improving the qualification system.
International Code of Conduct (ICOP)
IRATA has initiated and developed a document indicating best practices in the area of working with rope access. It has been recognised and is respected by many respected organisations, institutions and companies.
All IRATA members must adhere to the principles outlined in the aforementioned code. This applies in particular to rope access personnel - trained and certified according to this programme. The requirements and recommendations included by IRATA in the International Code of Conduct (ICOP) have set the standard for the industrial rope access industry worldwide.
IRATA certification in the area of rope access includes a three-level skill classification: L 1, L 2, L 3.
First level - L 1
Level L 1 - applies to a rope access technician. He/she is able to carry out a specific range of rope access tasks under the supervision of a rope access safety manager (with a level L 3 qualification). A rope access technician is:
- be able to understand and follow rope access procedures, select the appropriate method, technique for the task at hand and assess the risks involved,
- responsible for inspecting his own rope access equipment before use,
- able to assist in rigging and other operations under the supervision of a person of higher rank,
- able to take action in a simple descent and assist in rescue operations.
Second level - L 2
Level L 2 - applies to an experienced rope access technician. He/she is able to carry out more complex tasks under the supervision of a rope access safety manager (qualified at level L 3). An experienced rope access technician is:
- be able to demonstrate the skills and knowledge required at L 1 level,
- able to perform more complex rigging tasks, including re-anchoring, deflection and tensioning of ropes,
- able to undertake rescue operations in various situations,
- able to install and use pull-out systems.
Level 3 - L 3
Level L 3 - applies to an experienced rope access technician who may be responsible for rope access safety in work projects. He/she is responsible for understanding and implementing rope access procedures, selecting methods and associated risk assessments, and:
- is able to demonstrate the skills and knowledge required at L 1 and L 2 level;
- Understands the elements and principles of a safe system of work according to the standards promoted by IRATA,
- is familiar with relevant work techniques and legislation,
- has extensive knowledge of advanced rope access rigging and rescue techniques,
- hold an appropriate and current first aid certificate.
A rope access technician certified at level L 3 can become a rope access safety inspector.