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The IRATA System - Values and Purposes

The Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA International) includes within its membership operating companies who employ the technicians who have learned their skills from the training companies of the Association. Unlike many trade associations it is not dominated and therefore influenced purely by manufacturers from its business sector. The teaching of the IRATA syllabus enables rope access technicians to progress through three Levels of proficiency, with certification issued at each level. The IRATA technician carries a card that is recognized and admired around the world for its importance and value; over 70000 IRATA technicians have been registered in over fifty countries and in every continent. The thorough, dedicated IRATA training programme delivers a skilled workforce that can reliably employ a proven work-at-height method..

The Value of a Qualified Work Force

Working at height or in locations presenting difficult or confined access requires great skill and such standards can only be achieved as a result of extensive training and regular refresher courses. IRATA training is not only provided by skilled trainers in centres that are also members of the Association...every course is also assessed by experienced IRATA personnel who are independent of the training company. This double guarantee of thorough training and independent assessment is the IRATA key to securing a safe work force.

The Value of the Right Training Resource

If you appreciate and understand good training, and wish to employ personnel who have benefitted from it, you will understand that the best education comes from experienced specialists with an in-depth knowledge of their subject. It is not enough to turn to general industrial or tertiary sources or, even worse, general consultancies with little specialist awareness as these lack the detailed knowledge and understanding of the particular working environments and the capabilities of the industrial rope access system. By contrast, IRATA trainers are specialists and experts in their field who have theoretical and practical teaching skills. Their individual abilities and the training centres they work in are regularly independently assessed to ensure that training in being delivered to the highest possible standards.

IRATA - Value in Action: Rope Access and Safety Statistics

IRATA's unique two-rope system enables the technician to operate in the safest possible conditions since one of his ropes is only ever used as a safety back-up. In the unlikely event that the working rope is damaged or fails, the technician has a second rope to ensure his safety. IRATA companies rigorously record the incident statistics of their operations and supply this data to the Association. This data is then independently audited and then openly published. In fifteen years of collating these reports IRATA has recorded minimal serious injuries; its "reportable incident" rate reduces year-on-year and is currently less than four per 100.000 hours worked. This is unrivalled in the industries in which IRATA operates and is a fundamental reason for the remarkable, ongoing growth in the Association. Safe working reduces costs; it represents real added value!

IRATA - the Value of Sound Working Methods

The IRATA system of industrial rope access controls the hazards associated with working at height or in places of difficult access. Also, with its self-sufficient teams of technicians providing their own means of access, equipment, and skills there is no need for other access equipment; the work of the contracting party is reduced both in terms of numbers of staff and in duration of work. Of course, fewer, more efficient staff operating for shorter periods equates to lower costs. In addition to which, rope access also delivers the minimum environmental footprint in that it minimizes the disruption to third parties, be they building occupants, pedestrians or the general surroundings of work or recreation. So light is the touch of a rope access team that it can often work without being noticed.

IRATA - the Value of Diversity

Even those in the industries in which IRATA is active continue to be astonished by the range of tasks that can be undertaken by rope access. Offshore the IRATA team can undertake all manner of inspection, repair and testing work and often represent the only means of tackling a specific job. Onshore the IRATA technician is as likely to be seen on embankment or cliff faces as he is on a pylon or industrial tower, or working on an historic building, a new airport terminal or a modern city building.

IRATA - the Value of Experience

It is not unknown for a Trade Association to develop a new work method or product but IRATA was formed when rope access was truly in its infancy. It has developed the sector as much as the methodology and has taken the industry around the world to enjoy the global status it does now. Working from the outset with the Health and Safety Executive and other regulatory and standards authorities, the Association has overseen the growth of a whole new division of the access industry and thus gained the experience one should inist on in a worldwide trade organisation.

The Value of Global Status

Many trade associations in the work at height sector are dominated by manufacturers connected with their business, and many operate only in the UK; this is not the case with IRATA. With member companies in every continent it is the consistency and authority offered by IRATA International that sees its companies and technicians enjoy exclusivity with many multi-national companies. In new areas of oil and gas exploration, for example, companies turn first to IRATA when seeking platform repair and maintenance and IRATA rope access teams are called for with ever increasing frequency to undertake non-destructive testing and restorative work on coastal cliffs and other geographical features; the modern high-rise cities of the world are also turning to IRATA operators for their cleaning, inspection and future maintenance work.

The Value of IRATA International -
global service, distinctive method, proven record


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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