Have you ever wondered if you can lose your IRATA cert? I’m sure most people think, “Nah, that’s never going to happen. Even if I did something wrong, someone has to be there to catch me doing it.” Well, it’s not just a matter of someone “catching” you. What if your lack of awareness to your surroundings, or knowingly negligent behavior, results in someone getting hurt, or worse?
According to IRATA, “The compliance with worksite health and safety policies and procedures, in order to create and preserve a safe working environment, is a fundamental requirement of an IRATA rope access technician.” That sounds about right to me.
As a dedicated training company, our entire business is centered around training our students to not only know how to perform work safely as a rope access technician but to also understand why, and to be able to identify unsafe situations when they arise. I often hear people say that it’s the Level 3’s responsibility to make sure everyone is safe, the rigging is done correctly, etc. But it’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure safety on the job site. Level 3’s are humans and make mistakes just like everyone else, so every set of eyes should be looking for potentially dangerous situations or activity.
But a mistake is a little different than an IRATA technician doing something that blatantly disregards the rules and procedures that they are obligated to operate under. Recently an IRATA technician made a poor decision that resulted in one of his co-workers suffering back and neck injuries, and as such, IRATA suspended his IRATA certification for a period of one year. He admitted his wrongdoing and will have to take refresher training after the year is up in order to get his certification back.
So yes, you can lose your IRATA certification. But is that the only lesson to be learned here? I think the real lesson is that the procedures and principles that we are taught, and we are obligated to follow under the IRATA ICoP (International Code of Practice), are there to keep us, and those we are working with safe.
You can read more about the Dangerous Behavior Complaint Judgement here. If you have questions of safe work practices, or want to know more about the principles IRATA operates under in the ICoP, please feel free to contact us, or IRATA directly, and we would be happy to help.