IRATA International has a formal training and certification scheme, and grading structure and all IRATA International members are obliged to use this scheme. Rope access technicians are grouped into three technical grades, depending upon their experience and level of assessment as set out in the IRATA International publication
The three technical grades are:
Level 1
This is a rope access technician who is able to perform a specified range of rope access tasks under the supervision of a Level 3.
Level 2
This is an experienced rope access technician who has Level 1 skills plus more complex rigging, rescue and rope access skills, under the supervision of a Level 3.
Level 3
This is a rope access technician who is capable of complete responsibility for rope access safety in work projects; is able to demonstrate the skills and knowledge required of Levels 1 and 2; is conversant with relevant work techniques and legislation; has an extensive knowledge of advanced rigging and rescue techniques; holds an appropriate and current first aid certificate and has knowledge of the IRATA training, assessment and certification scheme.

“Additional wind readings are now taken and recorded throughout the day. During the day when weather is generally poor or adverse the work is done at a different time. The incident was briefed out to the rest of the company and the risk assessment was changed to implement further measures to prevent such incidents occurring in future, such as if there is any doubt that the wind or weather is forecast to be poor the site technicians will consult with a senior IRATA Manager to see if it is safe to work. The site technicians are instructed to be extra vigilant for weather changes and to stop work if there is any doubt of inclement weather either before starting or during the shift.”

It is important to gain a local weather forecast prior to starting a rope access task, having regular updates and understanding how the weather behaves in the given area when comparing to that forecast e.g. sudden turbulence. Local knowledge may prove useful information also when assessing this.

Adverse weather should be considered when carrying out a risk assessment for a given task where the hazard exists, this assessment should be ongoing as well as initial and take in to account the changing environmental conditions such as wind speed and temperatures.

ICOP provides information on the UK Work at height regulations (WAHR) where under the WAHR; work at height has to be properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner. This includes the need to plan for emergencies and rescue. In addition, employers are required to ensure that work at height is only carried out when the weather conditions do not jeopardize the health and safety of persons involved in the work (see Regulation 4).

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