The Industrial Rope Access Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) is a comprehensive document outlining the safety steps for the use of rope access systems.
This Safe work Method Statement (SWMS) provides guidance on industrial rope access systems used for gaining access to, and working at a workface, usually by means of vertically suspended ropes (can be horizontal – such as under bridge work). Other methods of accessing a work face should be considered (for example, EWPs or building maintenance units) before rope access systems, as a high level of skill is essential for their safe use.
This SWMS does NOT deal with permanent rope access structures/anchor points that will be left in place, or purpose built suspension rigs.
- Rope or equipment failure
- Failure to rescue in a timely manner
Work involving a risk of a person falling more than two metres, is defined as “High Risk construction Work” by Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011.
This SWMS includes:
This SWMS is ready to use and is not a blank template. Simply add your company details, ABN, and include any site specific details or risks and make it specific to the task at hand. It is then ready for printing and to be incorporated as part of your overall WHS System.
Ensure suitable rope system is provided:
- Full body harness with shoulder straps
- Compatible clips, karabiners etc.
- Suitable WLL
- All components of system meet AS/NZS 4488 and are labelled as such
- Manufacturer’s instructions are available.
Ensure weather conditions have been checked prior to starting.
Note: Conduct regular checks on weather conditions throughout duration of task.
Ensure barricades and warning/caution signs are placed under the work zone to protect the public.
Ensure barricades/warning signs are placed in all anchor point locations to prevent tampering/disturbance.
Ensure adequate supervision for task (e.g. Level 2 or 3 certified operators may be required for deviations above the 20 degree rule).
Conduct an assessment for emergency rescue.
- Non-contact rescue is preferred (lowering to ground).
- If contact rescue (more than one person on rope), ensure anchor point is capable of weight load.
Develop rescue plan for specific site. Consider:
- Length of ropes,
- Availability of extra anchor slings
- Hauling equipment etc.
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