Our 2017 ITEC was held in South Africa, Cape Town and it was great to witness so many of our members setting aside valuable time to attend. The event kicked off fittingly with a welcome message from our new Chairman Jonathan Capper, followed by presentations from our RAC Chairmen, some travelling as far afield as Australia. They presented comparable statistics and discussed many of the positives and challenges facing rope access in their regions. Specific areas were highlighted where they felt IRATA could assist more, e.g. local legislation compliance, marketing and language difficulties.
- South Africa (Mark Campbell),
- Australia (Alistair Merricks),
- Benelux (Rick van der Lely),
- Brazil (Francisco Negreiros),
- Eastern European (Levente Czurkó in lieu of Alex Kantor),
- Mediterranean (Fernando Pinheiro),
- Middle East (Mike Flamson),
- North America (Connor Turley),
- North Sea Operators (Ian Somers),
- Scandinavia (Nigel Craig),
- South East Asia & Far East (Barri Marshall),
- UK (Paul Blud)
Ben Eke, IRATA Training Manager, presented a summary of the Training Committee’s work undertaken since our 2016 ITEC, e.g., implementation of the new Assessor Selection, Training and Certification Scheme (ASTACS), standardisation of the IRATA assessment day, review of our Assessor & Instructor Workshops agenda and support that will be provided to those hosting approved workshops.
A Q&A session followed with Training Committee members Bas den Neijsel, Connor Turley and Leigh Greenwood assisting Ben Eke with question responses.
Equipment & Standards Committee
IRATA Chairman Jonathan Capper together with Secretary, Rodney Marage presented the updated RAMRASS software platform and took questions from the audience about the eagerly anticipated technician learning scheme.
Jonathan Capper also presented material on restraint anchor strength requirements, which was followed by a presentation by Dr Sheila Kondaveeti, IRATA Quality Manager, on data protection law changes in the UK and how they will affect IRATA policies and procedures.
Technical Officer Adam Wainwright and Allan Davies, the new Equipment and Standards Committee Chairman discussed the forthcoming review of the ICOP, a proposal for an illustrated rope access handbook, for technicians, and a guidance document for regulators and clients to assist with the selection of a rope access contractor.
Guest Speaker Toby Thorpe, from the City of London Corporation, presented excellently on risk assessments and method statements, followed by a Q&A session with attendees, which was very well received.
Health and Safety Committee
In his absence, Dr Chris Robbins provided a pre-recorded video presentation of his Work and Safety Analysis (WASA) of 2016 data. His parting request was
please report all incidents, no matter how small you may feel they are!.
Health and Safety Committee Chairman, Paul Bingham, presented details of a “near miss” occurrence on one of his own company’s projects and provided an update to the sequel of the “Edge Management Video”, followed by a Q&A session.
The Annual General Meeting commenced with a report presented by the IRATA Quality Manager Dr Sheila Kondaveeti, on ISO17024 certification activities and the forthcoming systemic and structural improvements required for successful accreditation to the standard. General Manager Rodney Marage, followed with a presentation on the Association’s financial accounts, key progress, the proposing of resolutions and finally the committee election results.
Annual Dinner and Award Ceremony
The annual dinner was hosted at the Gold Restaurant and proved to be an excellent choice of venue. Entertainment was provided by hair raising song and dance routines, some of these performed by IRATA members.
We were delighted to have our late chairman’s wife, Deborah Burnett, present to accept a clean sweep of awards on behalf of the late Graham Burnett. Although Mrs Burnett was overwhelmed with the results, she courageously took the stage and expressed her gratitude to the voters who recognised her late husband’s vast contribution to IRATA.
Our 2018 ITEC will be in London and we hope to see you there.
We take this opportunity to thank the South Africa RAC, our guest photographer: Bas den Neijsel, attendees, IRATA Staff, and our exhibitors:
- Beal S.A.S
- C.A.M.P. S.p.A
- Climbing Technology (a brand of Aludesign SpA)
- Max Gear Inc
- Harken Industrial
- Lyon Equipment Limited
- Singing Rock