What is Rope Access?

Rope Access is a proven, safe and efficient method of gaining access to buildings in order to carry out cleaning and light maintenance operations at height. It is often the quickest, safest and least disruptive method for carrying out work at height.

What is the difference between Abseiling and Rope Access?

Abseiling is the common term used to describe the process for descending ropes, think SAS, charity abseils, Scout and adventure sports... all wear a harness and use a variety of connection methods to descend on a rope.

Rope Access uses ropes to access buildings and structures via a comprehensive range of manoeuvrability skills including abseiling but involves much more than just abseiling down ropes in order to carry out a work task such as window cleaning. A professional Rope Access Technician is highly trained in a variety of special techniques that allow a wide range of tasks to be performed and can include him making vertical and horizontal progress using industrial climbing techniques in addition to being able to abseil down the ropes. He can set up hauling systems in order to safely control materials and building parts being worked upon for example glazing units.

Rescue Planning when working at height is a legal requirement of the Work at Height Regulations (Regulation 4). Planning for emergencies & rescue an integral part of the training that a Professional Rope Access Technician receives. Advanced technicians are able to rescue colleagues by transporting them along even the most technical of Rope Routes.

What are the benefits of Rope Access?

Unrivalled safety record over any other access method - Speed of set up – unobtrusive compared to other methods such as Cherry Pickers and Scaffolding – cost effective. Workers are knowledgeable and highly trained.

Typical tasks performed by Rope Access technicians include:

  • Glazing Repairs
  • Roofing Repairs
  • Painting
  • Bird Proofing
  • Window & Facade Cleaning
  • Safety Inspections
  • Signs and Banners Installation/Removal
  • Support for Other Tradesmen - Faced with a work at height task unreachable by other methods, a Rope Access Technician may perform a task under the supervision of a skilled tradesman (such as changing a fitting) or provide assistance in getting the tradesman to the work zone.

The sight of an industrial abseiler descending a building to clean windows is now a familiar sight. Skyline was one of the first companies in Manchester to develop expertise in Rope Access. Taking no shortcuts, Skyline committed to modelling themselves on the well established, mainstream, IRATA companies who were now well established in industries with a high safety concern such as nuclear power stations and oil rigs. IRATA organisation (The Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) is now leading the world in training and assessing technicians worldwide.

Our aim was to give the client the same level of professionalism no matter what the task. As a result we soon moved onto other areas of work in difficult locations in addition to window cleaning.