When it comes to Rope Access, an acronym that is frequently thrown around is IRATA. If you’ve heard this acronym but are unsure as to what exactly it means, this article is for you.
What is IRATA?
IRATA stands for the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association. This association was established in the United Kingdom in the 1980s as a means for providing a safe working environment in the oil and gas industry.
As these industries began to employ a number of industrial rope access techniques, it was recognised that ensuring these practices were safe was an important factor in maximising workplace health and safety. From this, IRATA developed their own rope access technique that emphasised safety and could be used in a range of repair, maintenance, inspection, and access work.
IRATA is now recognised as the world’s leading authority on industrial rope access. It has over 570 member companies globally and has trained roughly 130,000 Rope Access Technicians from a multitude of different countries.
IRATA directs and regulates the training of all Rope Access Technicians seeking IRATA qualifications and certifications.
What Does IRATA Do?
IRATA’s main activities include:
- Regulating the IRATA system as used by their members.
- Reviewing and updating policies and procedures relating to standards, audit, and assessment.
- Promoting and maintaining a high standard of industrial rope access activities in terms of safety and quality.
- Providing guidance and training of personnel involved in industrial rope access.
- Producing publications and guidance on safety, good working practices, training, and other related topics.
- Preparing submissions and providing opinions and advice to global government departments and organisations surrounding work at-heights, health and safety, and training.
- Ensuring safe rope access training and work procedures are introduced and developed.
- Supporting members with enquiries.
- Organising annual events for the rope access community.
What are the Objectives of IRATA?
The main aims of IRATA are as follows:
- To promote and maintain high standards in safety and work quality of practices in the industrial rope access industry.
- To improve the practices of individuals working in rope access.
- To promote continuous improvement in the education and training aspects of rope access.
- To increase awareness surrounding the advantages of rope access over alternative access methods.
IRATA plays a paramount role in promoting and encouraging safe rope access practices around the world. They offer thorough training and certification programs for Rope Access Technicians to ensure they maintain a high standard of safety and quality when carrying out work at-heights.