Tools and Work Equipment
- All tools and equipment must be suitable for the work intended and compatible with rope access work. In particular, they shall not present a danger to the safe operation or integrity of the rope access system.
- Work using rope access techniques may be more exposed than most other work methods due to factors including the inability of the rope access technician to move from close proximity to the work itself and to any power source or tools being used. As a result, certain tools which can be used safely from the ground, platforms, or other work surfaces, could cause risks to the rope access technicians or their suspension equipment unless great care is taken.
- Where the rope access technicians carry tools and equipment, appropriate steps shall be taken to prevent them being dropped or falling.
- Every effort must be made to prevent tools and equipment from being dropped. This effort may require lanyards or for small items, some other means for preventing items being dropped.
- Small tools may be securely attached to the worker’s harness by lanyards, carried in a bucket or bag securely attached to the worker’s harness or otherwise secured.
- Safety factor calculations always take into consideration the weight of tools and equipment.
- All electrical equipment, plugs, sockets, couplers, leads, etc. should be suitable for the environment in which they will be used.
- In some cases, power leads might need to be adequately supported or secured at their upper suspension point to carry their own weight, or secured at intermediate points. Care should be taken to ensure that any such systems do not impair the rope access system or its backup.
- Power tools weighing more than 10 kg should be fitted with a separate suspension system secured to an independent anchorage. Anchorages and suspension ropes used for equipment should be clearly identified to avoid confusion with those used to support persons.
- Moving parts of tools should be kept clear of the operator, power leads, and the suspension equipment.
- Appropriate grounding shall be provided for as necessary.
- Any power tools that could cause injury to the users or access equipment shall be fitted with an automatic shut off switch that will interrupt the power and stop movement in the event of a mistake, accident, or emergency.
Provided by Ken Kempa
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