What counts as supervision by a Level 3?

A worrying thing we are experiencing is that some Level 3's do not seem to understand their responsibilties when it comes to the supervsion of their team.

As such I want to explain and make very clear the requirements for an IRATA Level 3 for the supervision of their work team so there can be no misunderstanding.

In section of the IRATA International Code of Practice (ICoP) it states;

"Because of the locations and the specialized nature of the work, all rope access teams should be properly supervised and be self-suppotive, e.g. with respect to rescue. IRATA International requires that a team consists of at least two members. One member of the work team has to be qualified as an IRATA International Level 3 rope access technician and be competant to supervise rope access safety."

The key part of that section is "One member of the work team has to be qualified as an IRATA International Level 3 rope access technician...." which leaves no room for any misunderstanding.

The Level 3 must be part of the work team right there at the work location.

It is not permitted for Level 1's or 2's to be out of sight of their Level 3 under normal circumstances and all rope access work must stop if the Level 3 cannot be right there.

Unacceptable behavior for Level 3's in regards to supervision includes, but is not limited to;

- Sitting in a work vehicle

- Being away from the rope crew

- Involved in another activity other than the job at hand

- In "the office"

- Not able to immediately identify an issue and/or faciliate a rescue

If a Level 3 is found to be not fulfilling all their duities correctly, and as such being in breach of the IRATA rules, they can have their certification removed or down graded to a lower level.

If anyone feels they are working with a Level 3 who is not working safely and adhering to all of the safety requirements they should lodge a complaint with their employer and IRATA. Complaints are all anonymous and treated seriously, and can be lodged on the IRATA website by clicking on this link.