SOME PEOPLE ACTUALLY DO THIS FOR A LIVING
Often considered as simply an activity to raise donations, a team-building exercise, or even as an addition to the bucket list; in many industries abseiling from high rise buildings forms an essential part of the working day
MANY INDUSTRIES USE ABSEILING
The more cautious of people may prefer the use of elevated platforms to abseiling, however, there are many industries where abseiling is the only viable option for workers to inspect, maintain or repair machinery and buildings.
Industries which require abseiling to gain access to inspect, repair or maintain multi-storey buildings and other large structures include:
- Offshore oil and gas platforms;
- Renewable energy such as wind generation on turbines, blades, and towers;
- Industrial cooling towers at power stations and petrochemical plants;
- Painting or coating, cleaning maintenance or bird control of bridges communications masts, cranes, sports stadia, and other highrise buildings;
- Entry to confined spaces, shafts such as storage tanks, tunnels, chambers, and access shafts;
- Erection and removal of banners or signs;
- In mining and quarrying;
- Shipping and harbours;
- Cliff rescue;
THE DANGERS OF ABSEILING
In 2015, IRATA (international rope access trade association) indicated that there had been 103 reported events that year, of which 61 were classified as dangerous incidents (which could have led to harm or injury), resulting in 41 injuries (4 being reportable) and one fatality.
Unsurprisingly the most common sources of injury during abseiling were due to falls from height. Typically there were due to ropes being severed by sharp edges, falling edges, cutting by high power water jets, blasting equipment, chainsaws or melting by heat lamps. Due to this diversity of hazards, extreme caution should be taken even if using two independent anchor points.
Less common sources of injuries can be sustained from entrapment in confined spaces, physical strain injuries, or impact injuries sustained from adverse weather conditions, particularly high winds.
THE IMPORTANCE OF EQUIPMENT INSPECTION
In order to reduce injuries to a minimum, periodic inspection of work equipment is essential to ensure safe operation of the fall arrest system.
Whether abseiling is used for occupational or recreational purposes, periodic inspection should be undertaken to ensure equipment complies with EU directive 2001/45/EC. These are the minimum health and safety requirements for the use of equipment for work at height.
LABEL SOURCE'S INSPECTION TAGS
Label Source has produced a series of tags for safety inspection of fall arrest systems. These can be used to inspect:
For further information on these products, please contact Label Source by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our sales department by telephone on 0800 376 1693 ( or +44 1443 842769 if outside the UK).