SPRATSafe Practices FAQs
Safe Practices FAQs
- SPRAT’s Regulatory Assistance Committee maintains a Work at Height Standard Reference which presents a non-exhaustive list of standards that may pertain to equipment used in rope access.
- As stated in that document, “ensuring that a standard, or specific equipment conforming to a standard, is appropriate for specific rope access applications and/or for meeting presiding regulatory authority requirements is a requirement within a properly managed rope access program.” For assistance with regulatory compliance, SPRAT also maintains a Presiding Regulatory Authority Reference
Section 188.8.131.52 of SPRAT’s Safe Practices for Rope Access Work requires that a review of the work environment prior to work consider “the effects of wind on rope access systems, positioning, and work environment.”
Effects of wind will be dependent upon a number of variables, including the:
– Wind direction, speed, and gustiness
– Type of work being performed, including tools and work equipment
– Length of rope systems and the rope access equipment used
– Ability to maintain access, secure positioning at, and egress from the work location
Work methods, as well as communication and rescue plans may be modified to address additional risks associated with wind; however, in accordance with Section 5.3.5 of SPRAT’s Safe Practices for Rope Access Work, all rope access technicians have the authority to stop work immediately if it is unsafe to proceed.
Can a rope access program using rope access technicians with certifications from other rope access organizations meet the requirements of SPRAT’s Safe Practices for Rope Access Work?
Section 8.1.1 of SPRAT’s Safe Practices for Rope Access Work states that “currently certified rope access technicians shall be used to conduct all rope access operations.”
A component of SPRAT’s definition of a rope access technician, found in SPRAT’s Defined Terms, is “person who has completed a rope access certification program.”
While not a requirement, Section 6.2.1 of SPRAT’s Safe Practices for Rope Access Work states that “certifications should be maintained in accordance with [SPRAT’s] Certification Requirements for Rope Access Work.” This recommendation is provided along with the requirement of Section 6.1.1 of Safe Practices for Rope Access Work which states that “training shall be provided to all rope access technicians and prospective personnel, at a minimum, in a manner consistent Certification Requirements for Rope Access Work” as these two standards are designed to work together to assist in ensuring a comprehensive rope access program.
Section 8.2.2 of SPRAT’s Safe Practices for Rope Access Work states that “a Rope Access Supervisor should be a Level III Technician.
Section 8.2.3 and its sub-clauses provide site-dependent criteria that enable a Level II Technician to be eligible to be designated as a Rope Access Supervisor.
The standard provides no criteria that would enable a Level I Technician to be eligible to be designated as a Rope Access Supervisor.
SPRAT’s Supervisor Checklist may be used to assist employers in ensuring that a rope access technician meets the requirements to be designated as a Rope Access Supervisor.
SPRAT’s Section 4.1.3 of SPRAT’s Safe Practices for Rope Access Work states: “the Rope Access Supervisor has the responsibilities of a rope access technician in accordance with Section 5 (Responsibilities of a Rope Access Technician) to the extent that they do not prevent the effective performance of the responsibilities required by this section.
Section 4.5.3 requires a Rope Access Supervisor to “manage and/or perform any rescue”. That section does not prevent the Supervisor at the work site from being on-rope.
If the Rope Access Supervisor was going to be on-rope during the course of work, the rescue plan would need to account for prompt rescue (section 4.5.1) of the Rope Access Supervisor.
Rope access technicians on-site would need to be capable to perform this rescue (section 5.5.1)