Occupational Health and Safety Code

The Occupational Health and Safety Code provides specific technical health and safety rules and requirements for Alberta workplaces.

Alberta Regulation 191/2021

Part 41 Work Requiring Rope Access

Contents

General Requirements
 

Exemptions

 

805

Workers involved in training for occupational rope access work or performing occupational rope access work may use equipment, personal protective equipment and practices other than those specified in Part 9.

 

Exemptions

 

806

Workers involved in emergency rescue services or training for the purpose of emergency rescue may use equipment, personal protective equipment and practices other than those specified in this Part.

 

Exemptions

 

807

This Part does not apply to workers using fall protection systems specified in Part 9.

 

Rope access safe work plan

 

808

An employer must develop an occupational rope access safe work plan for a work site if

(a) a worker at the work site may fall 3 metres or more, or

(b) there is an unusual possibility of injury if a worker falls less than 3 metres.

 

Rope access safe work plan

 

809

An occupational rope access safe work plan must specify the following:

(a) the hazards associated with the work to be performed;

(b) how the hazards will be eliminated or controlled;

(c) the rope access system to be used at the work site;

(d) the procedures used to assemble, maintain, inspect, use and disassemble the rope access system;

(e) the members of the work team by name and their duties;

(f) the appropriate personal protective equipment to be used;

(g) an emergency response plan.

 

Rope access safe work plan

 

810

An employer must ensure that an occupational rope access safe work plan is available at the work site before work with a risk of falling begins.

 

Safe work practices

 

811

An employer must develop and implement safe work practices that include

(a) the assessment of hazards at the work site in accordance with Part 2,

(b) worker training, including hazard recognition and the selection, limitation, operation, inspection and maintenance of equipment and personal protective equipment,

(c) the use of work positioning systems and fall protection systems, and

(d) the rescue procedures to be used in case of equipment and personal protective equipment malfunction, a fall or injury that leaves a worker suspended and requiring rescue.

 

Instruction of workers

 

812

An employer must ensure that a worker is trained in the rope access safe work plan, the safe work practices and the safe use of the rope access system before allowing the worker to work in an area where a rope access system is to be used.

 

Tools and equipment

 

813(1)

An employer must ensure that equipment to be used by a worker during occupational rope access work activities is not suspended from the worker’s working line or safety line.

813(2)

An employer must ensure that equipment weighing more than 8 kilograms and to be used by a worker during occupational rope access work activities is suspended from a separate line secured to a suitable anchorage.

 

Equipment compatibility

 

814

An employer must ensure that all components of an occupational rope access system are compatible with one another and with the environment in which they are used.

 

Inspection and maintenance

 

815

An employer must ensure that the components of an occupational rope access system are

(a) inspected by the worker as required by the manufacturer before the system is used on each work shift,

(b) kept free from substances and conditions that could contribute to their deterioration, and

(c) re‑certified as specified by the manufacturer.

 

Low stretch (static) and high stretch (dynamic) rope

 

816

An employer must ensure that the working line and safety line of an occupational rope access system are the same diameter.

 

Low stretch (static) and high stretch (dynamic) rope

 

817

An employer must ensure that low stretch or static rope manufactured on or after July 1, 2009 and used in an occupational rope access system is approved to

(a) CEN Standard EN 1891: 1998, Personal protective equipment for the prevention of falls from a height — Low stretch kernmantel ropes, and is a Type A rope as classified by the standard,

(b) NFPA Standard 1983, Standard on Fire Service Life Safety Rope, Harness, and Hardware, 2006 Edition, or

(c) UIAA Standard 107: 2004, Mountaineering and Climbing Equipment — Low Stretch Ropes, and is a Type A rope as classified by the standard.

 

Low stretch (static) and high stretch (dynamic) rope

 

818

An employee must ensure that high stretch or dynamic rope used in an occupational rope access system is approved to

(a) CEN Standard EN 892: 2004, Mountaineering equipment — Dynamic mountaineering ropes — Safety requirements and test methods, or

(b) UIAA Standard 101: 2004, Mountaineering and Climbing Equipment — Dynamic Ropes.

 

Cow’s tail

 

819(1)

If a cow’s tail is made of dynamic rope, an employer must ensure that the rope is approved to

(a) CEN Standard EN 892: 2004, Mountaineering equipment — Dynamic mountaineering ropes — Safety requirements and test methods, or

(b) UIAA Standard 101: 2004, Mountaineering and Climbing Equipment — Dynamic Ropes.

819(2)

If a cow’s tail is not made of dynamic rope, an employer must ensure that the cow’s tail is approved to CEN Standard EN 354: 2002, Personal protective equipment against falls from a height — Lanyards.

 

Removal from service

 

820(1)

An employer must ensure that equipment and personal protective equipment used as part of an occupational rope access system is removed from service

(a) as specified by the manufacturer, or

(b) if it is defective,

and returned to the manufacturer, destroyed, or rendered unusable.

820(2)

An employer must ensure that equipment and personal protective equipment used as part of an occupational rope access system that is removed from service is not returned to service unless a professional engineer or the manufacturer certifies that the equipment and personal protective equipment is safe to use.

 

Worker rescue

 

821

An employer must ensure that a worker can be promptly rescued in case of equipment and personal protective equipment malfunction, fall or injury.

 

Worker rescue

 

822

An employer must ensure that a worker is trained to perform self rescue on the equipment and personal protective equipment.

Industrial Rope Access Work
 

Safe work practices

 

823

An employer must ensure that one of the following safe work practices for industrial rope access work is followed:

(a) International guidelines on the use of rope access methods for industrial purposes, July 2001, published by the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association;

(b) Safe Practices for Rope Access Work, October 2003, published by the Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians;

(c) Industrial Rope Access Technique, ARAA Industry Code, September 2000, published by the Australian Rope Access Association.

 

Safe work practices

 

824

If the requirements of section 823 conflict with requirements elsewhere in this Code, the requirements of this Code prevail.

 

Safe work practices

 

825

An employer must ensure that at least 2 workers trained in industrial rope access work are present when rope access equipment and rope access personal protective equipment and techniques are used.

 

Worker competency

 

826

An employer must ensure that the training required to comply with section 812 includes the applicable skills and practical experience hours described in

(a) Clauses 15.3, 16.3 or 17.3 as appropriate, of General requirements for certification of personnel engaged in industrial rope access methods, 2005, published by the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association,

(b) Clause 7 of Certification Requirements for Rope Access Work, January 2005, published by the Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians, or

(c) Appendix D of Industrial Rope Access Technique, ARAA Industry Code, September 2000, published by the Australian Rope Access Association.

 

Worker’s personal logbook

 

827(1)

A worker performing industrial rope access work must have a personal logbook containing a record of the industrial rope access work performed by that worker.

827(2)

Records in the worker’s personal logbook must be in chronological order and each entry must be verified and signed by the rope access supervisor or worksite manager.

827(3)

Each record of work must include

(a) the date the work was performed,

(b) the type of work performed, including the access method used,

(c) the type of structure worked on, and

(d) the hours worked using industrial rope access techniques.

827(4)

The worker must ensure that the personal logbook is current and available at the worksite for inspection by an officer.

 

Maximum arrest force, clearance, anchor strength

 

828

An employer must ensure that a rope access system used for industrial rope access work

(a) limits the maximum arresting force on a worker to 6 kilonewtons,

(b) prevents the worker from striking a lower surface that could cause injury, unless doing so exposes the worker to other greater hazards, and

(c) minimizes the hazards of swinging and striking an object that could injure the worker.

 

Maximum arrest force, clearance, anchor strength

 

829(1)

An employer must ensure that an anchor to which an industrial rope access system is attached has an ultimate breaking strength of at least 16 kilonewtons per worker attached, in the direction in which the load may be applied.

829(2)

Despite subsection (1), if it is not practicable for the anchor to have the specified ultimate breaking strength, an anchor may be used that has an ultimate breaking strength per attached worker of 2 times the estimated maximum arresting force created by a fall in the direction of the rope pull, unless doing so exposes the worker to other greater hazards.

 

Safety line

 

830(1)

An employer must ensure that a safety, secondary, belay or backup line is used when the working line is the primary means of support.

830(2)

An employer must ensure that the safety line and the working line are each provided with a separate anchorage connection and are separately fixed to the worker’s harness.

830(3)

Subsections (1) and (2) do not prohibit both the working line and safety line from being attached to a single harness attachment point.

830(4)

An employer may allow a worker to connect the safety line to the sternal or frontal attachment point of the worker’s full body harness in accordance with the harness manufacturer’s specifications.

 

Head protection

 

831(1)

Despite section 234, if there is a foreseeable danger of injury to a worker’s head while the worker is performing industrial rope access work, and there is a significant possibility of lateral impact to the worker’s head, an employer must ensure that the worker wears protective headwear that is appropriate to the hazards and meets the requirements of

(a) CSA Standard Z94.1‑05, Industrial Protective Headwear,

(b) ANSI Standard Z89.1‑2003, American National Standard for Industrial Head Protection, for Type II helmets,

(c) CEN Standard EN 12492: 2000, Mountaineering equipment — Helmets for mountaineers — Safety requirements and test methods, if the manufacturer’s specifications allow the helmet to be used for industrial work at height, or

(d) UIAA Standard 106: 2004, Mountaineering and Climbing Equipment — Helmets, if the manufacturer’s specifications allow the helmet to be used for industrial work at height,

if the protective headwear was manufactured on or after July 1, 2009.

831(2)

Despite section 234, if there is a foreseeable danger of injury to a worker’s head while the worker is performing industrial rope access work, and the possibility of lateral impact to the worker’s head is unlikely, an employer must ensure that the worker wears protective headwear that is appropriate to the hazards and meets the requirements of

(a) CSA Standard Z94.1‑05, Industrial Protective Headwear,

(b) ANSI Standard Z89.1‑2003, American National Standard for Industrial Head Protection, for Type I or Type II helmets,

(c) CEN Standard EN 397: 2006, Specification for industrial safety helmets,

(d) CEN Standard EN 12492: 2000, Mountaineering equipment — Helmets for mountaineers — Safety requirements and test methods, if the manufacturer’s specifications allow the helmet to be used for industrial work at height, or

(e) UIAA Standard 106: 2004, Mountaineering and Climbing Equipment — Helmets, if the manufacturer’s specifications allow the helmet to be used for industrial work at height,

if the protective headwear was manufactured on or after July 1, 2009.

 

Head protection

 

832

An employer must ensure that the protective headwear required by section 831 is equipped with a retention system having at least 3 separate points of attachment to the helmet shell, and includes a chin strap.

 

Head protection

 

833

An employer must ensure that a worker secures the protective headwear according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

 

Full body harness

 

834

An employer must ensure that a full body harness is used during industrial rope access work and if manufactured on or after July 1, 2009 is approved to

(a) NFPA Standard 1983, Standard on Fire Service Life Safety Rope and System Components, 2006 Edition, as a Class III safety harness,

(b) CEN Standard EN 361: 2007, Personal protective equipment against falls from a height — Full body harnesses, or

(c) ANSI/ASSE Standard Z359.1‑2007, Safety requirements for personal fall arrest systems, subsystems and components.

 

Connecting components

 

835

An employer must ensure that connecting components manufactured on or after July 1, 2009 used in industrial rope access work consist of carabiners, D rings, O rings, oval rings and self locking connectors approved to

(a) CEN Standard EN 362: 2004, Personal protective equipment against falls from height. Connectors,

(b) CEN Standard EN 12275: 1998, Mountaineering equipment — Connector — Safety requirements and test methods,

(c) UIAA Standard 121: 2004, Mountaineering and Climbing Equipment — Connectors,

(d) CSA Standard Z259.12 01 (R2006), Connecting Components for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, or

(e) NFPA Standard 1983, Standard on Fire Service Life Safety Rope, Harness, and Hardware, 2006 Edition.

 

Connecting components

 

836

An employer must ensure that carabiners used as part of an industrial rope access system are

(a) a screw gate type, or

(b) self locking and self closing, requiring at least 2 consecutive, deliberate actions to open.

 

Ascenders

 

837

An employer must ensure that an ascender manufactured on or after July 1, 2009 used in an industrial rope access system is approved to

(a) CEN Standard EN 567: 1997, Mountaineering equipment — Rope clamps — Safety requirements and test methods,

(b) UIAA Standard 126: 2004, Mountaineering and Climbing Equipment — Rope Clamps, or

(c) NFPA Standard 1983, Standard on Fire Service Life Safety Rope, Harness, and Hardware, 2006 Edition.

 

Back-up devices

 

838

An employer must ensure that a back-up device manufactured on or after July 1, 2009 used in an industrial rope access system is approved to

(a) CEN Standard EN 353 2: 2002, Personal protective equipment against falls from a height — Part 2: Guided type fall arresters including a flexible anchor line,

(b) CEN Standard EN 567: 1997, Mountaineering equipment — Rope clamps — Safety requirements and test methods,

(c) UIAA Standard 126: 2004, Mountaineering and Climbing Equipment — Rope Clamps, or

(d) ANSI Standard Z359.1‑2007, Safety requirements for personal fall arrest systems, subsystems and components.

 

Descenders

 

839

An employer must ensure that a descender manufactured on or after July 1, 2009 used in an industrial rope access system is approved to

(a) CEN Standard EN 341: 1997, Personal protective equipment against falls from height —– Descender devices, as a Class A device, or

(b) NFPA Standard 1983, Standard on Fire Service Life Safety Rope, Harness and Hardware, 2006 Edition.

Non‒industrial Rope Access Work
 

Safe work practices

 

840

An employer must ensure that a Director approves the safe work practices for non industrial rope access work.

 

Worker competency

 

841

An employer must ensure that the training required to comply with section 812 includes the applicable skills described in

(a) Technical Handbook for Professional Mountain Guides (July 1999), published by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG), if the work involves guiding activities within the scope of the publication,

(b) Climbing Gym Instructor Technical Manual (July2003), published by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG), if the work involves climbing activities within the scope of the publication, or

(c) if this work involves caving activities within the scope of these publications,

(i) Cave Guiding Standards for British Columbia and Alberta (March 2003), published by the Canadian Cave Conservancy, and

(ii) British Columbia Cave Rescue Companion Rescue Workshop (2005), published by British Columbia Cave Rescue.

 

Fall factor, clearance, anchorage strength

 

842

An employer must ensure that a rope system used for non industrial rope access work

(a) limits the fall factor on a worker to 1.78, unless doing so exposes the worker to other greater hazards,

(b) prevents the worker from striking a lower surface that could cause injury, unless doing so exposes the worker to other greater hazards, and

(c) minimizes the hazards of swinging and striking an object that could injure the worker.

 

Fall factor, clearance, anchorage strength

 

843(1)

An employer must ensure that an anchor used for non industrial rope access work has an ultimate breaking strength of at least 16 kilonewtons per worker attached, in the direction in which the load may be applied.

843(2)

Despite subsection (1), if it is not practicable for the anchor to have the specified ultimate breaking strength, an anchor may be used that has an ultimate breaking strength per attached worker of 2 times the estimated maximum arresting force created by a fall in the direction of the rope pull, unless doing so exposes the worker to other greater hazards.

 

Head protection

 

844

Despite section 234, if there is a foreseeable danger of injury to a worker’s head while performing non‑industrial rope access work, an employer must ensure that a worker wears protective headwear that is appropriate to the hazards and meets the requirements of

(a) CEN Standard EN 12492: 2000, Mountaineering equipment — Helmets for mountaineers — Safety requirements and test methods,

(b) UIAA Standard 106: 2004, Mountaineering and Climbing Equipment — Helmets, or

(c) ANSI Standard Z89.1‑2003, American National Standard for Industrial Head Protection, for Type II helmets,

if the protective headwear was manufactured on or after July 1, 2009.

 

Head protection

 

845

An employer must ensure that a worker secures the protective headwear according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

 

Head protection

 

846

Protective headwear in good condition meeting an earlier edition of a standard listed in section 844 may remain in service.

 

Sit harness

 

847

An employer must ensure that a sit harness used for non industrial rope access work is approved to

(a) CEN Standard EN 813: 1997, Personal protective equipment for prevention of falls from a height — Sit harnesses,

(b) CEN Standard EN 12277: 1998, Mountaineering equipment — Harnesses — Safety requirements and test methods, or

(c) UIAA Standard 105: 2004, Mountaineering and Climbing Equipment — Harnesses.

 

Full body harness

 

848

An employer must ensure that a full body harness used during non industrial rope access work is approved to

(a) CEN Standard EN 361: 2007, Personal protective equipment against falls from a height — Full body harnesses, or

(b) ANSI/ASSE Standard Z359.1 2007, Safety requirements for personal fall arrest systems, subsystems and components.

if the full body harness was manufactured on or after July 1, 2009.

 

Connecting components

 

849

An employer must ensure that connecting components used during non industrial rope access work are approved to

(a) CEN Standard EN 12275: 1998, Mountaineering equipment — Connectors — Safety requirements and test methods, or

(b) UIAA Standard 121: 2004, Mountaineering and Climbing Equipment — Connectors.

.