In Queensland, NSW and Victoria there have been a number of serious incidents involving Rope Access technicians in recent times. Whilst, there is an obligation on a Rope Access technician or company to report a safety breach or incident, many injuries and accidents often go unreported.
Currently in Queensland a business or individual can undertake high rise maintenance using Rope Access techniques with only minimal competency, limited training, and no supervision or certification. Rope Access activity is dealt with under Australian Standard 4488 Industrial Rope Access Systems. However, this standard primarily deals with the application of and use of Rope Access equipment and techniques.
It does not provide any prescription as to how Rope Access activities should be planned, managed, assessed or certified for safety purposes. Equally the relevant state legislation and regulations does not deal with this important consideration for Rope Access work. In fact Rope Access work is not a prescribed “high risk “activity under Section 81 Schedule 3 Qld QHS Regulations 2011.