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Duties and Responsibilities of the Employer

  • The employer shall develop and implement a policy statement that provides general goals and guidance for a rope access program that emphasizes management’s commitment to providing a safe workplace for personnel engaged in rope access work.
  • The employer shall provide the resources that are necessary for the development, implementation and operation of their rope access program.
  • The employer shall appoint a Rope Access Program Administrator who meets the requirements of this standard, and who has the authority to manage and direct the employer’s rope access program.
  • The employer shall develop and maintain written rope access and rescue procedures for every location where its rope access technicians use rope access.
  • The employer shall ensure that rope access technicians are informed of foreseeable hazards that they may encounter during the performance of their duties.
  • The employer shall ensure that all rope access technicians have the knowledge and training necessary to safely perform the rope access work to which they are assigned.
  • The employer shall ensure that all rope access technicians assigned to supervise or otherwise manage other rope access technicians on the work site are capable in terms of knowledge, training and experience to provide such oversight.
  • Employee selection and capabilities
    • The employer shall verify prior rope access training and/or experience.
      • To assess whether a person is capable of performing this type of work requires detailed consideration of their previous experience. The employer should verify prior rope access training experience.
        • Other suitable experience could include mountaineering, caving and working at heights using other means of access. Experience with the fire service or military forces may also be relevant if a person has been regularly engaged in the use of methods that involve being exposed at heights.
      • Where practicable, references should be obtained to verify claimed experience and levels of competence.
      • The employer will be assisted in their verification and monitoring of a rope access technician’s experience when their rope access technicians or applicants have a personal record log showing the training received and describing their work experience.
    • The employer shall determine that rope access technicians are sufficiently physically capable and free from any impairment that may prevent them from working safely. Rope access technicians should have a medical examination before employment in rope access work and at regular intervals.
    • The employer shall use certified Level I Technicians (Rope Access Workers) who have the appropriate training for the assigned tasks and/or Level II Technicians (Rope Access Lead Technicians) or a Level III Technician (Rope Access Supervisor) to conduct all work on-rope.
    • The employer shall use a Level II Technician (Rope Access Lead Technician) or a Level III Technician (Rope Access Supervisor) for system setup and system safety checks.
    • The employer shall provide for periodic re-assessment, recurrency training, and re-certification of the employer’s rope access technicians.
      • Employers must ensure that employees maintain their level of ability. Refresher training should be provided for rope access technicians who have not been continuously engaged in this work.
      • Due to the aptitude and mental conditioning necessary for working at height, rope access technicians who have not been engaged in rope access work for six months or more should attend a suitable refresher course before being allowed to work in this manner. This may be either a refresher course or a full course at the appropriate level.
    • People chosen for the work should have a suitable attitude for working at height. To work safely at height requires those engaged in the work to have special characteristics.
      • Prospective rope access technicians should have both aptitude and attitude that would not result in panic, cause them to make mistakes in a crisis, or work in a reckless or undisciplined manner. Aptitude and attitude may vary according to height and environment of work to be performed.
      • Frequently those who work at height will be remote or out of sight from their Rope Access Supervisor. It is, therefore, especially important that the rope access technicians can be always relied upon to behave in a sensible and responsible manner.
      • As part of their duties to maintain a safe place of work, the employer should control any tendency of rope access technicians to work in an undisciplined manner by recording this in their personal log books. An amending note canceling any adverse comments would not then be made until the employer is completely satisfied that there would be no recurrence.
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