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UGL’s Rope Access team spends their days high above the ground in areas previously perceived as inaccessible.

In areas where a sound platform isn’t possible or practical, rope access is an excellent option for our teams. Rope access is a means of entry for much of the work in the offshore oil and gas industry, as well as in a range of projects in construction, civil engineering, the built and natural environment and more.

While rope access reduces manual handling risks, it does pose safety risks of its own. To ensure its success, the teams participate in thorough training and strict work guidelines that deliver a safe working record year after year.

The team is working on projects around Australia, including Chevon Barrow Island, Esso’s Longford Gas Plant - Long Island Point and Bass Strait Offshore Operations, Alcoa’s Pinjarra - Wagerup and Kwinana Refineries, Origin’s Eraring Power Station, AGL Macquarie’s Bayswater Power Station, and Newmont Boddington Gold Mine.

As part of the new wax management system install on the Chevron Gorgon project, the Rope Access Brownfields Execution Team’s (BET) maintenance crew was tasked with assisting with the installation of rigging and aiding in the installation of piping.

It was identified that the roller plates, weighing approximately 15kg each, had to be moved over 50 metres. Manually moving these would be time consuming and require risky navigation of complex structural beams. The rope access team highlighted this as an improvement opportunity.

To eliminate the manual handling of these roller plates, the team rigged a tight line system (a flying fox) horizontally along the entire length of the workspace. This allowed for the plates to be pushed from one end and manoeuvred over the obstacles to the required location. Usually, this technique is utilised for human access but can also be used for materials. This eliminates potential risk to personnel but also provides time and cost-savings to the client.

UGL became full Industrial Rope Access Trade Association Operational members in June this year. IRATA International is recognised as the world’s leading authority on industrial rope access. The association’s aim is the promotion and development of the safe system that it has pioneered, supporting its member companies and trained technicians to work in a safe and effective manner. It has an unrivalled reportable incident rate in over 30 years of work at height operations across all industry sectors.

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