Our History

Industrial rope access, as trained for and operated by the member companies of IRATA International, has come a long way over the last three decades. From the point where it was created to meet a specific need to solve maintenance problems in the offshore industry, rope access has distinguished itself as an integral part of the work-at-height sector around the world and has achieved this alongside a safe working record that is unrivalled in this sector. This in turn has earned the admiration of the markets its serves and the men and women its members employ.

The work solutions it offered the oil and gas industry has proved so adaptable in this sector that the tasks its members now complete offshore are more varied and substantial than the basic maintenance work that was typical back in the 1990s. Indeed, such are the advantages that rope access offers that it has proved itself to be able to undertake major projects that have been beyond other access methods. Furthermore, IRATA rope access is the required partner for many of the leading global and national offshore companies and offers its services around the world.

The work solutions IRATA was offering offshore also proved to be valuable onshore and technicians on ropes have, for many years, been offering a vast portfolio of work in a wide range of repair, maintenance, inspection and other access work. Today, IRATA teams are at work in every continent and as likely to be seen on the world’s iconic sites as they are in your local town or industrial site.

Many clients are drawn to IRATA companies because of the unrivalled record of safe working these businesses can claim whilst all benefit from the quick set-up and dismantling times they can offer. Add to this the unmatched positive environmental benefits rope access offers, and the fact it needs no invasive access equipment, and you can see that it is truly an efficient and environmentally friendly means of access.

IRATA has grown substantially in recent years and now reports on more than 22 million hours spent on ropes each year by the rope access technicians employed by its member companies. Independently compiled reports prove beyond doubt that this is a very safe means of working at height.

IRATA International around the World

The IRATA two-rope, fail-to-safe method of working has solved so many access problems around the world that the Association now has member companies in every continent, with more joining each month; it is the only truly global Association in its sector. IRATA has taken safe working at height around the world and seen general work procedures improved because of its influence. Its extensive use by major companies, administrations and governments who approve of its high standards has also raised the profile of IRATA work procedures and the member companies of the Association.

In order to better manage the communication between the Association administration and its members, multiple international Regional Advisory Committees have been formed in areas of high membership, whilst its senior office holders and committee members now travel extensively to meet with member companies wherever they are situated. Through its substantial suite of control documents, IRATA prepares the way for its member companies and rope access technicians to have confidence in a proven work method that has seen IRATA lead the advance of industrial rope access as a 21st century work solution.

Some of the iconic world famous sites on which IRATA teams have worked:​

  • Big Ben
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Sydney Opera House
  • World Trade Centre
  • Wembley Stadium
  • Hoover Dam
  • Seattle Space Needle
  • Dubai International Airport
  • St Helena Island
  • The London Eye
  • The Burj Kalifa Dubai
  • Chapman’s Peak
  • Tower Bridge
  • BT Tower

  • Emirates Tower Dubai
  • Heathrow Airport
  • Luxor Hotel Las Vegas
  • Canterbury Cathedral
  • Burj Al Arab Hotel
  • Wynne Casino Las Vegas
  • Spinnaker Tower UK
  • Clifton Suspension Bridge
  • Mount Rushmore USA
  • The Eden Project
  • The Forth Rail Bridge
  • O2 Arena
  • Millennium Stadium
  • Cardiff Singapore Flyer (Wheel)