SPRAT was established in the mid 90′ s to address the needs of a growing number of companies and operators employing rope access techniques in North America. While various forms of rope access had been used in industry for decades, the development of modern rope access systems collided with the growth of industries that provided conventional means of access such as scaffolding and swing-stages. These conventional methods required standard fall arrest systems.
Without specific standards and legislation in North America to support rope access systems, companies and operators were at times prevented from working by safety managers and legislators. SPRAT’s development of industry-consensus standards, including Safe Practices for Rope Access Work and Certification Requirements for Rope Access Work, has raised the awareness of the safety and effectiveness of rope access systems.
These standards paved the way for California’s Department of Industrial Relations effort to create one of the first laws sanctioning the use of rope access systems in North America. Since then, Alberta and New York City have followed suit with support from SPRAT and its members. Since 2001, more than 1,100 rope access technicians representing dozens of companies and government agencies have been certified to SPRAT standards. Current projects include an audit process for member companies employing rope access technicians.
Rope access provides an effective, efficient and economic means of access. However it must be carried out in a proficient and safe manner.
SPRAT’ s main activities are to:
- Promote and maintain a high standard of: industrial rope access activities in terms of safety and work quality.
- Provide guidance on training and certification of personnel involved in Industrial Rope Access.
- Produce publications and guidance on good working practice, training and other related topics.
- Prepare submission and provide informed opinion and advice to government departments and others on matters concerning health, safety and training.
- Assist working parties charged with commenting on and discussing existing and draft legislation and directives.
- Assist in the provision of appropriate educational training and certification opportunities for personnel employed in Industrial Rope Access.
- Provide a forum for the free and informal exchange of experience and opinion.