Metamorphosis of Access
Initially developed and adopted from climbing and caving techniques, rope access was born in the late 80’s by passionate and almost a bit mental group of pioneers.
History of rope access
Initially developed and adopted from climbing and caving techniques, rope access was born in the late 80’s by passionate and almost a bit mental group of pioneers. They applied practical ropework to access difficult work areas without the need of scaffolding or areal working platforms. Difficult, and often dangerous tasks was completed, and the new kid on the block was slowly starting to become the man of the house; the leader; the self-proclaimed hero of the working at height industry. Sadly, not realizing it was already approaching retirement.
The success of rope access was driven out of a passion for climbing
To put this in perspective, let’s start with the core that ignited this industry… The backbone of the success and glory of the rise of the rope access industry was the fact that it was done by this exceptional group of people. They built an industry out of passion for climbing, desire for development in climbing gear, hunger to do convert their passion into income. They did not have qualification, budgets, BBEE, unemployment rates as the fundamental reasons for pursuing a career. In fact, most of these guys could not wait for the weekend to go back the crags and redpoint. No formal painting, NDT, supervisory or ethical qualifications were needed and there was no need to screen guys to check if they were fit to work at height. Was this conceivably the reason to success? Was this perhaps the key and vital to the values of the once successful rope access industry?
Or should we see the this as the start of what rope access present today? This once niche market has since exploded with endless possibilities of rope access service offering, from window cleaning and signage installation to building power stations and aligning 5G aerials.
Don’t get me wrong, the rope access has exploded! In a good way, of course. There are great developments, fantastic gear developments, hi-tech rope access specific software and vast improvements in the working at height industry in general. The industry has definitely moved in the right direction, and this is due to the foundation laid by the founding forerunners all those years ago.
Fundamental principle was an immense passion for working on ropes
The fundamental principle was men doing work at height, replacing the need to spend days on end erecting massive structures just to install a light bulb. This was done safely, cheaply and with immense passion for working on ropes. Do we still have this passion?
Or is the metamorphism complete? We are missing one key essential aspect; what is the essential driving factors for the youth today? What is their passion? What will move the industry forward? Who is still keen?
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Useful links: Specialised rope access services/a>; IRATA training courses ; Irata level 1 training courses ; Irata level 2 training courses ; Irata level 3 training courses Why rope access?