Risk & Risk Tolerance for the layman.

Why did you get into Rope Access to begin with?

It’s exhilarating, right? It pays well. Travel? There’s no doubt a high level of “cool-factor” that comes with the work.. The thrill of being “scared”, overcoming challenges, facing risks and succeeding at surviving them is a satisfying way to spend your day.. and, I dare to admit, even a bit addictive.. 😉

Rope access and working at height inevitably presents a never ending list of potential hazards that you’ll face in completing a project. Mitigating and controlling those hazards with your team members, and as you climb around as an individual, are what make this work so incredibly fulfilling and keeps us coming back for the next project …🤘🏼Even when the “pucker-factor” is high.. 😉

Consider this… You step out your front door to run some errands & grab a bite… risky?

Possibly.. are the steps and path covered in ice? Nope, I salted them last night and the ices mostly melted now.. so, I’m happy with this level of risk.. Safe. Proceed.

Look both ways… no speeding traffic or cyclists coming by .. wow, check out that UniMog! Safe. Proceed.

Stop for some groceries, did I bring my mask during COVID? Is the store busy, have I got my hand sanitizer? Safe? 🤷🏼‍♂️ Maybe I’ll come back later..

A decision is made.. the hazard averted.

Sit down for a bite. Hmmm .. this sushi has a funny smell to it.. NOT SAFE‼️ Do Not Proceed‼️ then go get a street Taco and take on a whole other set of choices pertaining directly to the risk of eating street food, the likelihood of getting food poisoning and the severity of the outcome if you did…

RISK = LIKELIHOOD x SEVERITY

We perform mini-risk assessments hundreds even thousands of times a day to keep ourselves and the people around us safe in accordance with OUR personal level of “Risk Tolerance”. All in order to quite literally survive and carry on in this life..

Assessing Risk while doing Rope Access is not that much different than assessing risk in every day life.. being able to identify the many potential hazards that exist, how severe they could be to us and our team, and how we choose to proceed in accordance with our level of understanding that we have of the hazard itself, and lastly the control that we put in place to mitigate the hazard.

Ultimately, identifying hazards and assessing their level of risk is a matter of instinctual survival as a human being. We quite literally do it every minute of every day.. to survive.

Stay safe out there.. remain calm, take care of each other, keep it simple, scan you gear and environment regularly for hazards and watch out for those speedy cars and icy steps. 👌🏽

Cheers

Dirk

Safe? Or not safe?

How to PASS a Rope Access Assessment/Evaluation

An IRATA Instructor/Assessors perspective ..

PUT IN THE WORK‼️ That’s all there is to it..

PUT. IN. THE. WORK.

What’s the work?

READ the material‼️ LEARN the skills‼️

What should you read?

IRATA – T.A.C.S.‼️ IRATA – I.C.O.P.‼️ SPRAT – Safe Practices for Rope Access Work‼️ SPRAT – Certification Requirements‼️ T.M.C. Training Manual‼️ Manufacturers Specifications of the equipment you use on course‼️ Local legislation‼️

Show up on day one with a FULL understanding of what’s required of YOU of the level and certifying body that YOU are going for.

“What’s required of you” is found in the IRATA – Training Assessment Certification Scheme & the SPRAT – Certification Requirements.

DO NOT “expect” a positive result if you have not done this reading in preparation of your course. This isn’t the early 2000’s where everyone gets an honorary participation medal for just showing up. If you have no prior experience in Rope Access, don’t fret, this preliminary reading and understanding will be your greatest asset as a candidate during the course AND on test day… trust me on this.

PUT IN THE WORK‼️

If you’re already certified at a lower Level, DO NOT expect to be “retrained” at that level during your upgrading course. Show up on day one with a FULL understanding and the technical skill set of your current Level.

Day one is NOT the time for a “refresher” of all the L2 skills on your upgrade to L3 course. Take interest, be prepared. Own it.

PUT IN THE WORK‼️

Find a comfy chair, stay awake, rest your weary body and take it upon YOURSELF to dig into the documentation provided to you and review it in the evenings during your course‼️ The lead instructor has as many as 7 other candidates to educate & as much as we all like to think that we’re so very special, we are not. Take OWNERSHIP of the certification process and take it seriously. You will understand why I’ve said this if you’re having a unsavoury test day as a result of not doing the work..

You can rely on the instructor to impart knowledge onto you.. but, it is not the instructors responsibility to beat it into you if you have not done YOUR PART in reading the material. Their input, delivery & demonstrations will be consistent from one week to the next.

PUT IN THE WORK‼️

Use the time in the training centre to climb, rig and DO. Rest your body & mind when you must.. But rally ALL week and keep busy climbing & rigging while you’re in that rope filled space. It is your only chance to use it in preparation for your test day. Doing this, and becoming proficient in the REQUIRED practical skills is your second biggest asset as a candidate.

READ the material‼️ LEARN the skills‼️ There are no other options..

Arm yourself with Skill, Knowledge & Understanding.

PUT IN THE WORK‼️ (have you noticed the theme here?)

“YOU CAN EITHER DO THIS STUFF, OR YOU CANNOT”.. A line often used by Instructors, Assessors and Evaluators in the opening safety talks.

It is NOT up to anyone else but yourself to motivate you or stimulate you into achieving this goal… A PASSED certification is YOURS. And you should be proud of it when it happens… because YOU did the work.

Remember.. Assessments & Evaluations are a TEST of our abilities and understanding of the certification that you are trying to achieve…

Do these things, and you will be off to a great start in the very satisfying journey of PASSING a Rope Access certification.

As always.. like & comment or get at me in a direct message..

I’m always up for a chat.

Cheers… thanks for reading & Good Luck!

Dirk Dorenbos

IRATA 5891 L3/A/i

Assessment Day Stress ⁉️

“Assessment day stress” is a thing… We’re often hardest on ourselves when it comes time to impress an Assessor with a smooth rescue or pulling information from the memory banks.

.. #selftalk, #doubt, #fear…

#overcome… #engage… take a moment to plan and visualize. USE the white board. And definitely Don’t Rush‼️

This is not Rope Trip 😉

Focus in on the job and the task at hand.. The stress of “Assessment day” can be much less than that of a real life #rescue of an injured worker 😉

And… Remember that IRATA Assessors & SPRAT Evaluators also need to recalibrate their certifications every 3yrs, and so.. they know what you’re feeling on the day..

Have a great Assessment ‼️

Welcome to the Ropes Edge Blog!

Thanks for taking time out of your valuable day to read this..

The blog will evolve over time as I figure out how best to use it and add value to your day and to keep you interested…

I’ll be adding this blog as a link to my websites (Access-Anywhere.ca & RopesEdge.ca) as well.

The hope is too create change and bring the conversation of Edge Management Systems & thoroughly risk assessed rigging to the forefront of everyones mind as they are actively rigging ropes around the world.

I began my rope journey some 20yrs ago and felt that I had something to add to our industry.. I hope that I can win your trust and that eventually you will feel the same..

Cheers & chat soon

Dirk!

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