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IRATA in collaboration with Lyon Equipment

With the kind cooperation and support from Lyon Equipment Ltd (UK) and the assistance from IRATA International (UK), the South East Asia (SEA) RAC was able to host two remote PPE Competent Person Inspection courses at a member’s premises in Singapore.
Both courses were a great success and well received by the delegates from both our Australian IRATA member companies and South East Asia (SEA) members, delivered under the guidance and instructions of Mark Davies.
On behalf of IRATA International, IRATA Australia, IRATA SEA RAC Members and Dive Marine NDT Inspection & Training Services, we would like to thank Mark and the Management of Lyon Equipment for their kind assistance and cooperation in making this event a great and memorable one….well done!
Barri Marshall

(IRATA SEA RAC Chair, Executive & HSE Member)

A Member Company has reported the death of a rope access technician working offshore on an offshore oil platform. The accident occurred during normal operations whilst conducting an overboard task and it resulted in a fall into the sea.
Preliminary investigations are in the hands of the Company, the Police, the Health and Safety Executive, and the Client. The Association will provide further information of the accident and any lessons learned as soon as further facts become available. 


Members are directed to the Safety Notices section to see Safety Bulletin 22 - ' Catastrophic failure of ropes rigged over an edge'

Safety Bulletin 22 was produced in response to a test illustrating how easily ropes could be cut when incorrectly exposed to an edge. This bulletin is intended to emphasize guidance already outlined in the IRATA ICOP. See ICOP, to If the ICOP guidance is followed, it remains fit for purpose and rope access remains a safe system of work. IRATA continues to be committed to develop best practice in industrial rope access worldwide. The ICOP is constantly under review with the IRATA development review panel (DRP) however it is not anticipated that there will be need for any immediate changes in the ICOP as direct consequence of Safety Bulletin 22.

IRATA take this opportunity to remind all users of rope access of the need to implement the current ICOP guidance on edge protection into their operating procedures and pass any changes onto their personnel on site. Particular attention is drawn to the need to follow the hierarchical approach described in Safety Bulletin 22 when dealing with rope and edge protection within site specific risk assessments.

See also Safety Bulletins 1118 and 20


A long awaited and most thorough report created by Pye Tait Consulting for the Health and Safety Executive and Constructions Skills is fulsome in its praise and admiration of IRATA. In Annex 8 of the document a 700-word assessment of IRATA begins with the line - 'Perhaps one of the most demanding registration and certification schemes is that run by the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA).  It....maintains exceptionally rigorous standards in all aspects of its work.' For further quotes from the report see (state Website Section). The full report (A commentary on routes to competence in the construction sector) can be seen at


below is the link to the Petzl website with inspection instructions. 
for UK link to Lyon website, there is a specific email address and contact for this alert


The report mentioned on the front page of this website offers the following statements in its coverage of IRATA.

'IRATA is unique in coordinating a variety of different approaches to ensure safe work into a single scheme....This provides assurance of individual skills, knowledge, and understanding, and appropriate levels of experience. 
It should be noted that IRATA has reported no work-related fatal incidents in its 21 years of existance, in spite of the inftrinsically high risks associated with this type of work. This high performance is especially striking when compared to the number of fatal accidents occurring during rope access work in the USA, where in the period between 2003 and 2009, the activitiy experienced a total of 70 fatalities 
Perhaps more significantly, the overall incident rate appears to be remarkably low, with the IRATA health and safety audit suggesting that major incidents occur at a rate considerably less than hilf the all-industry average, and dramatically better than the construction industry as a whole.....this is a remarkable performance.'

Comments on the report from IRATA: 
'It is highly rewarding to have IRATA's safe working lauded as a 'remarkable performance.' The bar has now been truly set for those who would imitate our scheme.' Graham Burnett, Immediate Past Chairman 
'Safe work at height starts on the ground! This report acknowledges that IRATA's diligent preparation and training is the gold standard' Roderick Dymott, Chief Executive Officer


below is the link to the Petzl website with inspection instructions. 
for UK link to Lyon website, there is a specific email address and contact for this alert



The problems being encountered by the Construction industry in the UK, much of Europe, North America and elsewhere are proving beneficial to IRATA rope access companies who are being called in to conduct extra repair, maintenance and improvement work and, as ever, are proving themselves adaptable, efficient and cost effective. IRATA rope access is increasingly being used for such work because of its quick set-up and dismantling times and the environmentally-friendly nature of its work, as well as its unmatched record of safe working. Contractors, council planners and FM companies are invited to contact their nearest IRATA member company or IRATA CEO Rod Dymott on 01276 857844

Petzl Visit 2011

IRATA would like to offer thanks to Chris Blakeley and his team at the Petzl V Access for hosting this year's General Meeting and a range of associated events. The V Access is home for the Petzl Institute and has its stated goal as "to unite experiences and knowledge under one roof" ( Feedback from delegates would indicate that this goal was certainly achieved on this occasion.

Aside from providing comfortable meeting and lecture rooms for various committee meetings, there were several practical sessions; the highlight being the simulated main rope failures to test a range of widely used back-up devices and techniques. See the following link for a short video montage shot by Craig Smith of Applus

Plans for similar future events include an assessor and trainer workshop at V Access.

Karl Raby, IRATA Chairman.

IRATA at the A+A event, Dusseldorf, 18-21 October

IRATA will be exhibiting at this Dusseldorf international trade fair for the first time this year. Previously some member companies have exhibited and IRATA personnel have attended but this year will see IRATA with its own stand manned by experts. Over 55000 visitors attended the last show in 2009.

Details of the event can be found at

Petzl safety alert: counterfeit products

"February 2011: This is the first time Petzl discovered identical-looking counterfeit PPE products with the Petzl logo."

"The four products we found do not meet our safety requirements and are potentially dangerous." CLICK HERE
Highest techician registration figures ever!

It is certain that 2010 will break all previous records for the number of rope access technicians registering with IRATA and, furthermore, the figures in each section are significantly higher than 2009 and are generally three to four times the numbers of the annual figures of eight years ago.

This is another demonstration of the popularity of IRATA industrial rope access and the fact that it is prospering in a time of some considerable downturns in the sectors it serves. With ongoing thoroughness in its training programmes, a relaible and proven work method and a verified safe working record of many years standing, this unique and much admired access method appears to be set for continuing success

IRATA member companies avoid worst of recession

By comparison with other access methods IRATA companies have not suffered so much from the downturn in commercial activity, indeed the well-known benefits of industrial rope access – quick set up and removal, considerable environmental advantages, and the ability to access all work areas without use of any expensive machinery – has brought IRATA rope access to the fore more than ever both in the UK and around the world.

‘We cannot claim to have been completely immune from the economic downturn,’ says IRATA CEO Rod Dymott, ‘but we are certainly not contributing to the ranks of access equipment lying idle. The present situation has caused even more people – commercial contractors, councils, SMEs and engineering companies – to turn to IRATA more than before simply on grounds of cost whilst benefitting from the environmental and other rope access attributes.’

It will be remarkable for rope access as a work solution if in 2010 IRATA members report working more than the record-breaking eight million hours of work on rope they recorded last year.

IRATA International Code of Practice (ICOP)

Having developed the use of industrial rope access around the world during the last 21 years and managed its remarkable growth and safe use by means of the much admired IRATA Guidelines, IRATA International has moved to advance rope access knowledge and use even further by the publication of a wholly new International Code of Practice ICOP).

The ICOP replaces the Guidelines and become the means by which IRATA rope access will be trained and operated around the world. IRATA already has in excess of 230 member companies around the world and has trained more that 30,000 rope access technicians; it has members in every continent and these businesses undertake in excess of five million working hours on ropes each year. IRATA's proud record of safe working is unrivalled in this trade sector.

Remarkably, the safe deployment of workmen on ropes has proved a substantial growth area in several trade sectors and the ICOP will lead to further expansion of the procedure.

The ICOP has been translated into languages other than English viz Italian, Spanish, French, German, Brazilian/Portuguese and Malay. TO DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY PLEASE CLICK HERE


IRATA CEO will be speaking at the Work at Height Conference in Norway in November and at other specialist professional meetings in the UK this Autumn.

Articles about IRATA have been recently featured in - 
Health & Safety International, BIC Magazine (US), FC Business, Pathfinder Magazine, Materials Evaluation (US), and Engineering and Technology

IRATA trains in ever greater numbers

Rope access technicians from all over the world are trained by IRATA International and bring safe operational procedures to work-at-height. In 2008 men and women from 63 countries were passed by IRATA Assessors including people from Korea, Vietnam, Slovenia, Qatar, Nigeria, Nepal, Azerbaijan and China.

This year the Association has welcomed new techs from many more countries including Bulgaria, Eygpt, Greece, Jamaica, Ukraine, Puerto Rica and even the tiny island of St Helena. IRATA is indeed INTERNATIONAL!

IRATA continues worldwide development

Industrial Rope Access as an ideal work solution for tasks in difficult or unusual locations continues to be demonstrated around the world with the iconic Eiffel Tower the latest to deploy this safe and effective work procedure. Amongst other famous buildings to be cleaned, inspected and repaired by IRATA companies are Big Ben, Sydney Opera House, The London Eye, many Dubai Hotels, the Forth Rail Bridge and the Eden Project

IRATA Company wins Scottish award

IRATA member AquaTerra Solutions of Aberdeen has been named 'Employer of the Year' at the recent annual Grampian Business Awards by Enterprise North East Trust. The award recognises the ability to demonstrate success achieved through well-adopted business values. The honour was given to the company after they were shortlisted in two categories that also included Business Success over Three Years.

HSE Response

From 1 September 2009 the HSE has begun its programme to make the content of previously paid for publications freely available online, through the HSE website. Details of the announcement are on HSE’s website

The publications will be made available in PDF format. HSE anticipates that at 1 September, around 100 of the most popular titles will be available in a fully accessible PDF format. The remaining 150 publications will be placed on the HSE site at the same time (ie from September) as PDFs but in a non weblite format. Through a rolling programme of work from September onwards, we plan to replace the 150 PDF publications with fully accessible versions. Our aim is to complete the conversion exercise by end of March 2010.


An IRATA technician has just been given a 3 year ban for the falsification of his documents. There are plans to upgrade the security of the IRATA documents including the introduction of hologrammed ID cards.

ITEC09 - a huge success for the Association

Every continent was represented at IRATA's Technical Event and Conference held from 7-9 September at the Fire Services College in Gloucestershire. Over 135 delegates watched work demonstrations on the College's outdoor structures and speakers from SEAsia, Europe and Dubai and the HSE were amongst those presenting at the Conference.


RATA's renowned annual report on its work around the world has been published earlier than ever this year and shows zero death, a minimal incident rate, negligible number of work hours lost through injury and all this during a year that saw a huge growth in the number of hours worked. See the Health and Safety section for the full report.

HSE Publish Evidence based Review on Suspension Trauma

HSE doc ' Evidence-based review of the current guidance on first aid measures for suspension trauma' May 2009.

Click here for full report 


Following completion of an evidence based review of published medical literature on the effects of a fall triggering harness suspension, HSE confirms that no change should be made to the standard first aid guidance for the post recovery of a semi conscious or unconscious person in a horizontal position, even if the subject of prior harness suspension.
The sometimes quoted suggestion of recovery in a semi-recumbent or sitting position was considered to be without any sound evidence base and may prove dangerous through prolonging the lack of blood return to the brain. 

This information is likely to require a change to many company procedures and training manuals. It should also be drawn to the attention of sub- contract employees.


Safety Bulletin SB41

Adverse Inclement Weather

Safety Bulletin SB40

Dropped Objects

Safety Bulletin SB39

Fall from Height

Safety Bulletin SB38


Safety Bulletin SB37

Rope caught by moving elevator


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