Why use rope access?

Rope access provides a way for workers to get to a worksite which cannot be accessed by “normal” methods.  Reclamation has found that rope access provides a safe, efficient means for working at height. Rope Access has allowed Reclamation to work on many features and areas that had previously been left uninspected, or required weeks of work to access.

Rope access is:

Versatile: Because rope access systems are highly adaptable, they provide very flexible systems for accessing many areas that used to require extensive scaffolding or specialized equipment to access. Rope access is already widely used in the U.S. for dam, bridge, and building work.

Efficient: Rope access systems can be installed and dismantled quickly, reducing the amount of time workers spend on the job.  Rope access systems generally require fewer personnel to install and operate than traditional fall protection or access system.  Because of the rapid deployment of rope access systems, facilities often experience less downtime for the work to be completed.

Economical: Usually, fewer workers are needed to deploy and use rope access systems, cutting overall labor costs and completing the work faster.  Rope access systems often require much less equipment to complete the same work compared to using traditional working at height systems.

Safe: Rope access has a proven safety record, with thousands of man/hours compiled at Reclamation without a fatality or lost time injury.  The National Safety Council lists over 100 fatalities/year in falls from scaffolds/ladders.  Rope access is now guided by international standards that provide regulation for safe work at height, and help Reclamation and contractors establish safe working environments.

How does rope access differ from traditional fall protection?

In rope access, the ropes provide the fall protection as well as the method of access.   The system, if properly employed, prevents falls altogether by providing two independent points of contact at all times.  In rope access, two independent points generally means two ropes with separate and equally strong anchors.
Last Updated: 3/5/18