These days SAS Ltd delivers a lot of Rope Access in Liverpool to the construction industry but Rope Access Systems first started being used for work positioning at height in the offshore oil and gas sector in the late 80’s early 90’s. The techniques and equipment used back then had been developed over the previous fifty years in sports rock climbing and caving; they were sold into the offshore oil and gas sector as a means to achieve huge cost benefits by reducing the reliance on traditional access solutions, particularly scaffolding which was extremely costly to move and store on offshore oil platforms as well as taking a long time to build and strike.
In order for rope access systems to be taken up by the offshore sector it first had to be proven that they represented a safe way to work. At first glance men working on ropes seems like a dangerous concept to many people but the reality is counter intuitive; as borne out by data gathered by IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) over the ensuing 25 years rope access is a far safer way for IRATA trained personnel to work at height than the use of scaffolding. After all, these systems began life as a means for climbers and cavers to make themselves safe in the mountains and caves of the world; with much heavier equipment, doubled up to allow for the fabled 100% redundancy that is a key component of the rope access operatives safe system of working, and attached to structural steel or rated anchor systems, a properly trained rope access operative works within massive margins of safety.
Throughout the 90’s and 00’s the use of industrial rope access systems became ubiquitous across the offshore sector and then the onshore industrial sector. SAS Ltd’s rope access services are widely used in the fossil fuel, nuclear and renewable sectors as well as in manufacturing plants across the UK. However, the UK onshore construction sector remained behind the curve in terms of their uptake of industrial rope access services. In recent years this situation has begun to change with even the largest construction companies opening up to the enormous cost benefits that can be achieved with the selective deployment of specialist rope access sub contractors. The construction industry has finally begun to accept the compelling health and safety case in favour of rope access as a safe means of delivering work at height and SAS Ltd continues to develop strong client relationships in this sector in Liverpool and beyond.