How to become Rope Access technician?
If you enjoy climbing and feeling the surge of adrenaline, this is your chance to finally turn your passion into a full-time career. Rope access technicians are specialists who want to reach the heights using ropes. This type of access is needed for rescue, high-level construction, oil rigs, etc. For the ropes to be successful, the rope access technician’s ability to keep cool in difficult situations and maintain the safety of the entire project. Do you think, that you have what it takes to become a rope access technician?
You will need to pas the final test to get certified in one or more of these levels. The assessment lasts one day after about 4-5 days of training. It is designed to test the skills you have acquired throughout the course. This is a way to show the instructor that you have what it takes to become a rope access technician who will not endanger the life of you or others around you. With a lot of preparation, a lot of practice, and a good fitness program, you can give yourself the leverage you need to eliminate that flying color.
The International Rope Access Association (IRATA) and Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT) are two of the leading internationally recognized rope access training institutes. IRATA teachers have to meet certain criteria, while SPRAT does not. Both IRATA and SPRAT are reputable programs, but SPRAT has a strong reputation in North America, and IRATA is recognized worldwide.
Although these are US-based organizations, you can always consult Indian institutes offering the same training or its equivalent.
The training at these facilities is conducted by highly experienced rope access technicians and climbers with thousands of hours of experience. In order to be considered as teaching, you must have some knowledge that you should already have acquired. This includes:
- Ability to use a rope for climbing, resting or window cleaning
- Knowledge of tying rope assemblies such as eight-digit, double-eight on a rod, static knot, excess knot, and Alpine butterfly.
- Certified by a physician
- The minimum age for eligibility is 18 years
Do a few warm-ups (gentle exercises) a week before your training to prepare for the course.
The IRATA assessor marks the day of your assessment. These assessors are advanced to the third level and have extensive experience in the field. Practices of any form, whether good or bad, have experienced every excuse for error. Their main concern is the belief that people can turn to a safe attitude. Feel free to ask and be asked by these assessors for the latest technical information.
The Rules of Engagement
You will be asked questions because the assessors want to know if you understand the reason for each maneuver. They will list important minor faults, such as disliked bolts, so you know where to improvise. Only two minor discrepancies are allowed. If the third one occurs, it means failure. You also need to keep a backup unit. Careless positioning of it can mean a minor mismatch. If you forget to let it hang on your ankles, it will fail. The main thing to focus on is not hanging from a single point of contact or a single rope. Keep this in mind with every transaction at any cost.
As level 2 or level 3 technicians, you may be asked to do what you did not do in your workouts, but at level 1 they will only ask you for what you did during training.
Do not be afraid to think that you will be asked to act under crazy time pressure as it is not. Your assessors will only try to notice if you can apply the principles you have learned to a slightly new problem. You will be told then and there if you fail, so do not give up hope when you notice that you have made some mistakes. Until they tell you, you are playing.
Avoid focusing too much on each activity. Also, make sure you do more advanced things in the methodological steps and you need to do a “function check” before you start using your new system. When in a difficult situation, think of something completely different, such as a romantic event, fish or favorite things, and double check the system.
It is important to check your screw-gates before each maneuver, then see the two separate joints you have, count and be ready with the third. Avoid critical two or three connections to a single anchor posture.
Remember that emergency response and the response sequence you selected. Hold on to your ropes and sacrificial ropes. No matter how slow you are on the last descent, if you have any spare device that could steal the glory.
You can now enter the rope access field. You can be anywhere now – from huge bridges to oil rights, skyscrapers to rock surface stabilization and wherever you needed to work at altitude.
Levels of Qualification
It is important to complete formal training and get a technical certificate to become a rope access technician. As stated by IRATA International, the training, assessment and certification scheme is valid for all IRATA members. Depending on your level of training and experience, based on IRATA, there are three levels at which you can be certified as rope access technicians.
- Level 1: Level 1 training is recommended for those with little or no access to industrial ropes to be certified for simple rescue.
- Level 2: Level 2 personnel with 1000 hours of rope access combined with one year of work experience may enroll in Level 2 training.
- Level 3: A Level 3 person demonstrates a high level of technical access to the ropes while maintaining site safety. They also have advanced rigging and rescue knowledge, first aid certificate, legal and IRATA training knowledge.
Jobs for rope access technicians
Rope access technicians have many jobs in hard to reach places. This includes: work in confined spaces (eg water tanks, cooling towers, boilers and shafts) ‘, non-destructive testing (NDT); Anti-corrosion painting at height; Installation of structures at height; geotechnical works (eg rock bed, demolition and soil stabilization); facade maintenance (eg maintenance and repair of buildings); rigging services (e.g., marketing, advertising and seasonal exposures in public spaces); work on oil platforms; window cleaning in high-rise buildings; as well as renewable energy (eg wind farm maintenance and repair).
How safe are these jobs?
Working at height or in confined areas can be dangerous for inexperienced people. In the early 1900s, rope access technicians had to complete their work using Bosun’s Chair, Y. A wooden board that serves as a seat at the end of the rope rather than the seat belts currently in use. At that time, technicians were in a much more dangerous position.