We were delighted to be invited to present at the inaugural International Occupational Safety and Health Congress (IOSHC) in Istanbul held on 6th and 7th December 2017. The event was very well organised by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) and the hospitality afforded to the IRATA Chairman, Jonathan Capper and IRATA Secretary, Rodney Marage was exemplary.
Over 3,400 attendees were present at the event and it was very encouraging to see the progress that the IMM have made with the development of their occupational safety and health legislation. Jonathan Capper and Rodney Marage addressed the audience alongside distinguished international speakers such as, Catherine Bråkenhielm of the International Labour Organization, Prof. Dr. Dong Mug Kang of PUSAN university, Timothy Tregenza representing the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU OSHA) and Dr Natale Battevi of Milan Polytechnic University Faculty of Medicine.
Both Jonathan and Rodney presented a brief history of IRATA, the organisational structure and the IRATA rope access system and regulatory framework using graphical images to good effect. The vast majority of Occupational Safety and Health professionals in attendance had not actually seen industrial rope access in use, in its many forms, so were particularly captivated by the images in the presentation.
Local IRATA member companies were consulted during the creation of the presentation and contributed to the topical material presented. Members felt that there is a growing misconception in Turkey that qualified mountaineers and industrial rope access technicians can be used interchangeably. They also expressed concerns about technicians working for uncertified companies and without level 3 supervision. Turkey is a fast growing region for rope access use and currently has 640 L1, 116 L2 and 73 L3 technicians , representing 1.5% of IRATA technicians.
IRATA would like to thank local IRATA member companies Kaya group, MIRA Rope Access and Yuksek Isler for their support. A special thank you is reserved for Doç.Dr. Alpaslan Hamdi KUZUCUOĞLU, Chief Organiser and IRATA Level 3, Burak Çatakoğlu who invited IRATA International to present.