Rope access training is safety training provided to people who need to work at height or in other locations where ropes are used for access and safety. Under occupational health and safety laws in some countries, workers may be required to have rope access training before they can work in certain conditions. In other regions, this training may simply be recommended for worker safety. Firms specializing in safety training of this nature can be found all over the world offering certification, as well as refresher courses.
Trainers usually divide coursework in this subject into three tiers. The first is for workers who need basic rope access training so they can work safely and effectively. The instructor provides training in handling rope, working with harnesses, teaming up with other workers, and related topics. The next level is for technicians, people who may engage in activities like rigging for other workers, setting up harnesses, developing access plans, and managing small teams of workers. Supervisors receive the highest level of training, qualifying them to perform a variety of tasks while also looking out for the safety of the personnel they monitor.
Rope access training can include some classroom work where people learn about relevant laws and other basic topics. On the ground, the instructor provides training in inspecting equipment, setting it up, and using it. Next, the instructor supervises the students in practice situations where they will need to work at height, as well as in locations like wells, so they can be accustomed to being raised and lowered on ropes and rigging. Specialized training may be offered for people working at very high elevations and in environments where safety concerns like live electrical wires may be present.
The goal of rope access training is to provide workers with skills to work safely and confidently in settings where rope access is the only way to get to work, or harnesses are needed for safety. In addition to offering personal safety instruction, teachers also usually discuss teamwork, including watching out for the safety of other people and working cooperatively with people in environments like high buildings and communication towers.
People who pass rope access training need to periodically renew their certifications. Renewal courses are less in depth and provide refresher skills, along with information about new laws, standards, and practices in the industry. If enough workers need a refresher course, an instructor may be willing to travel to a worksite or similar location.