Rope access is a form of work positioning, which applies practical ropework to allow workers access to difficult to reach locations with use of traditional scaffold erection, cranes or other aerial work platform. Rope access technicians descend, ascend and traverse ropes for access and work while suspended in their harness. The worker uses a redundant rope system and operates under the internationally recognized Irata standard.
The most common applications for modern rope access include inspection, surveying, maintenance and construction on bridges, dams, wind turbines, towers, buildings and industrial plants. While inspection is the most common application, painting, welding, cutting, chaulking and handling of heavy materials can be accomplished by rope access technicians.