Australian and Australian New Zealand Standards as follows:
- AS/NZS 1891 .1 :2007 Industrial Fall Arrest systems and Devices – Harnesses and ancillary equipment
- AS/NZS 1891.2:2001Horizontal Lifelines and Rail Systems
- AS/NZS 1891 .3:1997 Industrial Fall Arrest Systems and Devices – Fall Arrest Devices
- AS/NZS 1891 .4:2009 Industrial Fall Arrest Systems and Devices – Selection, Use and Maintenance
- AS/NZS 22846.1 Rope Access Systems – Fundamental Principles of Work
- AS/NZ 22846.2 Rope Access Systems – Code of Practice
- As/NZS 5532:2013 – Manufacturing requirements for single-point anchor devices used for harness based work at height.
- AS 2550.10:2006 Cranes, hoists and winches – Safe use – Mobile elevating work platforms
- AS 1657.1992 Fixed platforms, walkways, stairways and ladders – Design, construction and installation
- AS 1319.1994. Safety signs for the occupational environment
AS/NZS 22846 – What the New Standard Means
AS/NZ 22846 – The New Rope Access Standard
The development of both parts of ISO 22846, Personal equipment for protection against falls – Rope access systems occurred in Australia in the 2010’s was due to a perceived need by Standards Australia to meet industry needs.
There are many factors essential to the safety of a rope access system and a failure or shortcoming in any of them can render the entire system deficient. The Standards offer a comprehensive and international benchmark to measure the compliance and effectiveness of rope access systems. For further details please contact us.
ISO 22846 has its roots in the late 1990s, when a work item in ISO/TC94/SC4 enabled a working group (WG6) to commence a project to produce a Standard containing advice and guidance for rope access systems.
ISO 22846 was planned as a single document and much of the first draft was based upon BS 7965: 2002 , which in turn had been based upon the IRATA Guidelines (2002). A later draft of ISO 22846 formed the basis of the current IRATA International code of practice (2010), which superseded their Guidelines.
The Two Parts Explained
BS ISO 22846 comprises two parts under the general title, Personal equipment for protection against falls – Rope access systems:
o Part 1: Fundamental principles for a system of work
o Part 2: Code of practice
ISO 22846-1 was published in 2003 (being adopted as a British Standard in July 2012 ) and gives the fundamental principles for the use of rope access methods for work at height. It is applicable to the use of rope-access methods on buildings, other structures (e.g. on or offshore) or natural features (e.g. cliff faces), during which ropes are suspended from or connected to a structure or natural feature; and is applicable to situations where ropes are used as the primary means of access, egress or support and as the primary means of protection against a fall.
ISO 22846-2 was published much later, in 2012 (with immediate publication as a British Standard ). It expands on the fundamental principles outlined in ISO 22846-1 and gives recommendations for:
o planning and management;
o operative competence and responsibilities of personnel;
o the selection, use and care of equipment; and
o advice on how to implement a ‘safe system of work’.
AS/NZS 22846 – Key Aspects Explained
AS/NZ 22846-1 states that a key element of a safe system of work includes, “… proper management and planning” and the,“ use of trained, competent persons with proper levels of supervision; …” (3.1). AS/NZ 22846-2 states that, “There should always be effective management, including on-site supervision. …” (3.2 (a)) and, “To ensure that a rope access system operates correctly, it is important that at least the following key subjects be addressed: a) management (management and planning); …” (3.4). It goes on, “The minimum management knowledge recommended is set out in Table B.1” (4.3.3).
The requirement for the competence of rope access managers (5.5.2) includes that, “The rope access manager should be competent in at least the minimum rope access qualification to ensure the operative’s ability to understand the needs of the work team in relation to rope access work …” (188.8.131.52).
The rope access manager should also be able (184.108.40.206):
- communicate requirements to rope access supervisors
- write standard operating procedures;
- implement and review such control systems;
- assess which control measures are suitable (based on experience);
- overview and manage the execution of the work task using rope access skill
Similarly, the requirement of the competence of a rope access supervisor(220.127.116.11) includes:
- have knowledge of worksite occupational and health requirements;
- be able to interact with other trades on the worksite;
- possess knowledge of the use of specialized equipment for specific tasks;
- be able to identify skill requirements, including the need for specific skills …;
- be able to identify any shortfalls in operator skills;
- have the ability to manage properly all aspects of the work in addition to rope access issues;
- possess good communication skills;
- have leadership qualities appropriate to the rope access team;
- possess the ability to monitor rope access personnel and the rope access worksite
AS/NZS 22846-2: 2012 states that, “The level of complexity or degree of risk presented by the work environment determines a) the level of skill or experience required by the rope access operatives, b) the degree of worksite control required …” (3.3). The concept of ‘worksite classification’ for rope access worksites is used (4.8), viz. (a) simple, and b) complex. When considering the levels of rope access operative skills, “The result of the planning process undertaken should reflect the classification of the worksite …” (4.10.1) and, “The skills of operatives and the training received by them for a particular worksite classification or work situation should be assessed by the rope access supervisor before the operatives are allowed to work at any worksite …” (4.10.2)1.
The standard adopts a more ‘risk-based’ approach to the level of supervisory skills required, stating, “Differing levels of supervisory skills can be required for access tasks of differing complexity. This is especially so where considering the response to and control of emergency situations, but may also be relevant where the work task is complex or possibly hazardous, i.e. use of chemicals, confined spaces and dangerous tools …” (18.104.22.168).
AS/NZS 22846-2 refers to the competence requirements of a rope access supervisor in 5.5.3. It states, “Various jurisdictions can have specific requirements for supervisors, but the following general principles apply. It is important for the rope access supervisor to:
- a) hold suitable rope access operative qualifications and be reassessed at regular and appropriate intervals; …” (5.3.4).