When working in places which are difficult to access, e.g. inspection under bridges, it may be necessary to use ropes (rappelling) as a technical aid when carrying out this work. Rappelling may take place only if you are unable to use other, more appropriate and safer equipment. An assessment of the work and selection of a solution in relation to health and safety must always be undertaken.
If, through this assessment, you come to the conclusion that rappelling is the best, safest solution, the following criteria must be met:
- You must use at least two ropes, each with its own independent anchor point. One is a load-bearing rope, the other is to ensure your safety.
- The employee must be equipped with a climbing harness which must be connected to the safety rope.
- The working rope must be fitted with a safe climbing and lowering mechanism and have an automatic blocking system.
- The safety rope must be fitted with a moving fall protection device which follows the movements of the user.
- Tools and other accessories must be secured firmly to the climbing harness or seat.
- Employees carrying out rappelling must have received particularly comprehensive training on the execution of the work in question, especially the relevant rescue procedures.