At the start of every rope access shift, you will need to suit yourself up with a wide variety of equipment and there is a lot of moving parts. Personal fall protection systems such as harnesses can be a lifesaver while working at heights. However, if it is not in good shape or not set up properly, you could be putting your life in a risky situation.
Buddy Checks are an added precautionary measure to ensure everything has been done right. It is a way to look out for your mates, where you share in the responsibility for your work mates safety and well-being. Mistakes happen, but hopefully a second set of eyes will make those mistakes a lot less likely.
Going home safe to our families and friends at the end of each day is our priority. Let’s do everything we can make sure nothing gets in the way of that.
Step 1: Check yourself
Rope access technicians should carefully examine their own equipment before starting work, to ensure it is in good condition.
This equipment includes:
• Anchor line devices
• Device lanyards
• Connectors / carabiners
This checking should continue during the job.
Step 2: Check your mates
Buddy checks are carried out by IRATA technicians only. Grab a member of your team, and together check the following on each other:
• Harness buckles are correctly fastened and adjusted
• Device lanyards and anchor lanyards are attached correctly
• Connectors / carabiners are fastened correctly.
Buddy checking by team members is good practice and should be continued throughout the day, including:
• After the technician has put on their harness and assembled their equipment
• When the technician has attached to the anchor lines
• At all times when the technician is engaged in rope access manoeuvre.
Step 3: Confirm and Record
Confirm with your supervisor that the pre-work check has been performed.
The rope access safety supervisor must ensure this checking occurs throughout the day and must ensure the pre-work buddy checks is recorded on the pre-start checklist.
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