| This unit standard is for any person who rigs access ropes and uses access ropes to perform industrial tasks where access to the task is gained by means of ropes anchored to the structure being accessed. It excludes access techniques used by emergency services for rescue work and ropes used for recreational purposes. It can be used in a range of contexts such as cleaning, construction, telecommunications, and vessel inspection.
In the context of this unit standard, structures being accessed can include buildings, onshore or offshore structures or geological features such as cliff faces. Ropes are used as primary means of support, primary protection and positioning and a means for personnel to ascend or descend.
Range statements that refer to assessment criteria:
Level 1 rope access refers to a "technician" who is able to perform a limited range of rope access work, under close supervision of a level 3 supervisor NQF level 1.
Level 2 rope access refers to a "lead technician" who is capable of rigging working ropes, undertaking rescues and performing rope access tasks under supervision of a level 3 supervisor NQF level 2.
Level 3 rope access refers to a "supervisor" who is capable of complete responsibility for work projects, able to demonstrate skills and knowledge of both levels 1 and 2, is conversant with relevant work techniques and legislation and has comprehensive knowledge of advanced rescue techniques NQF level 4.
Assessment criteria marked with * are assessed according to worksite procedures.
Advanced knowledge and skills of knots includes tying all knots specified for level 1 and 2 rope access work, correct application and use of knots, knowledge of unsuitable knots or disadvantages of knots like tape knots, and precautions to take with certain knots. These include variations of the figure of eight, figure of nine, alpine butterfly, double fisherman's knot, tape knots, bowline.
Advanced knowledge and skills of rope access manoeuvres includes all the rope access manoeuvres specified for level 1 and 2 rope access work performed with advanced skill It includes all of the following: descending and ascending ropes; passing knots, deviations and rebelays (intermediate anchors) and obstructions; performing rope transfers and changeovers; aid climbing, belaying and traversing a loop; performing horizontal (traverse), vertical and lead climbing.
Detailed knowledge of simple rescue techniques includes skill and knowledge of all rescue techniques specified for level 1 and 2 rope access work. This includes snatch rescues, rescues using hauling/ lowering systems and cable ways.
Checks on team members before starting access work need to include all of the following [the use of two completely independent ropes, two ropes anchored on two separate anchors, ropes correctly rigged to prevent shock loads, a suitable (figure 8) knot is tied at the end of the working rope to prevent descent off the end of the rope, wearing appropriate PPE.
PPE includes helmets, goggles, gloves, work boots, life jackets or other equipment as required for a task.
Knots include but are not limited to double knots, anchors knots, midrope knots, tape slings, intermediate knots and all knots required for a level 1 technician.
Operation plan/ procedure refers to a description of how to perform the task and includes rope access equipment, equipment needed for the task, the number and level of technicians, safety factors, risk assessment, medical information ie closest hospital, rescue plans from any situation in the rope access system.
Risk assessment at the work site includes but is not limited to anchor points, hazards above and below the work level, length of drops or traverses, equipment requirements, rescue scenarios.
Exclusion zone includes warning signs, barriers, posting of a guard/sentry, alarms, locking of doors or access ways leading to the exclusion zone.
Factors that can affect safety during rope access work include but are not limited to any one of the following: weather conditions, activities of other contractors, integrity/ safety of rigging, how tired team members might be.
Rigging can include the use of tape slings, deviations, intermediate anchors, belays, rebelays, midrope knots, double protection system for safety purposes.
Rest periods may be determined by climatic conditions, exposed work sites tiredness of the team, wind chill, high levels of sun, heat exposure, wind speed, height, degree of protection.
Slings include tape slings, wire slings and rope slings.
Supervision includes personally checking that team members equipment are correctly assembled, the that there is a knot at the end of a rope when appropriate, check that that team members use a double rope, that the team members are always attached at two points, monitoring conditions that can affect safe working conditions or fatigue in team members, overseeing rescues.
Substandard ropes include ropes that have been exposed to heat, chemical, mechanical damage or shock loads or damaged due to other causes.
To be considered medically fit learners should be free form any disability that may prevent them from working safely. The learner should be free from the following conditions: Heart disease, high blood pressure, epilepsy, fits and blackouts, fear of heights, giddiness or difficulty with balance, impaired limb function, alcohol or drug dependence, psychiatric illness, diabetes.