Compliance Update: Understanding New Guidelines Regarding Rope Access


A new Occupational Health and Safety Regulation and guidelines for rope access were released earlier this year. Part 34—Rope Access of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (OHSR) applies to industrial rope access (such as construction, building maintenance and bridge inspection).

A safety bulletin from WorkSafeBC defines rope access as “a specialized technique for work positioning and rescue where a worker is intentionally and directly suspended on ropes at height, often as a versatile, economically efficient alternative to scaffolding or swing stages.”

The new guidelines focus on training, safe work practices and equipment.  For instance, they address how rope access training relates to other disciplines of work. They also explain how safe work practices related to various types of rope access work. Also included are requirements around rescuing workers after a rope access incident, as well as requirements related to the inspection and testing of permanent anchors used in a rope access system.

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