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Tom D

Two Rope Working Consultation

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How are most rope access anchors by an irata trained oppritive assessed for suitably? A majority are fixed man made structures with quantifiable tested load limits. Obviously rock ect hace other things to consider. 

Trees however are dynamic and subject to other factors that may compromise the stated quantifiable tests that can be applied to perfect green wood.

Work with a DdRT system or SRWP will impose the same forces on the same TIP selection (Not base tie off).

If anchor failure is a factor due to wood integrity this will be the same with both techniques. 

I believe that the utilisation of pre loaded re-directs that are an option in SRWP as opposed to dynamic re-directs as used in DdRT are a far safer opinion to gaining a better working position on crown extremitys. 

The need for a better understanding of force impact through the trees structure when loaded should become a more prevalent part of any climbing training qualification. 

This I believe would have a more significant impact on the reduction of anchor point failure. This should also include the inherent property of different wood types and defects. I wonder if when working with different rock types in irata situations this is covered in their risk assessment.

As mentioned in the other thread by someone has self rescue been considered? Two ropes. Panic, fear, confusion whilst trying to get out of a tree with potentially one hand...

Edited by Konstantly
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i think new climbers will be most at risk when using two rope systems, as rope managment is something new climbers often struggle with and can end up in a right tangle leading to frustration and often a feeling of being unproductive, which can lead to loss of temper and erratic cuts and saw use.

any trainers on here??? how do they feel about teaching this new system, what problems do they foresee?

 

self rescue could well be hindered and slower with a two rope system and in the case of a severe cut from a chainsaw , fast self rescue is often the key as time is of the essence in this situation.

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I have worked within the tree industry for well over 20 years, primarily as a climber.  I  have no objection to using two lines and I do use them as and when required, however I can see many scenarios where it would be detrimental. In addition to the valid points made in prior posts, I have these to add.

 

1. Increased risk by the use of marginal anchor points in attempt to comply.

 

This will no doubt occur, especially in trees that are in a compromised condition. It will also encourage a dangerous occurrence of relying on such marginal anchor points as people will feel secure knowing they have a backup. 

 

2. Fatigue

 

Tree climbing is fatiguing, both mentally and physically and adding a second system will have a cost to both. Physically it is more weight to carry and manage, harder work when you have to lean into the lines & discomfort of being pulled in more directions. This will be compounded by the significantly increased period of time required to complete the task.

 Mentally, having extra ropes and connectors to deal with will have an effect, especially with the less proficient climbers and again, this will be over the extended duration of time within the tree. 

Each of these issues is minor in itself, but combined they are significant. As an industry we are very aware that tiredness and general fatigue, create situations where the individual can make poor decisions - this is when accidents occur.

 

3. Accidents within the tree and emergency egress.

 

In the rare and unfortunate occurrence of an accident, a double rope system has a critical flaw in that it requires two hands to descend. A large proportion of cut injuries are to the arms and the inability to bail out with a single hand after removing the body strop would be lost. Especially if both lines are weighted and providing support where disconnecting one would lead to a fall or pendulum swing.

I had the misfortune of such an accident and lacerated my brachial artery, a time critical injury that required I got to the ground immediately to receive treatment - waiting for rescue would have been fatal. I am not sure that I would be here typing this if I had the further complications of a second weighted system to deal with…...

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15 minutes ago, Pete Mctree said:

3. Accidents within the tree and emergency egress.

 

In the rare and unfortunate occurrence of an accident, a double rope system has a critical flaw in that it requires two hands to descend. A large proportion of cut injuries are to the arms and the inability to bail out with a single hand after removing the body strop would be lost. Especially if both lines are weighted and providing support where disconnecting one would lead to a fall or pendulum swing.

I had the misfortune of such an accident and lacerated my brachial artery, a time critical injury that required I got to the ground immediately to receive treatment - waiting for rescue would have been fatal. I am not sure that I would be here typing this if I had the further complications of a second weighted system to deal with…...

This would be the best "defence", I suspect there has been more cuts in trees than fatalities from a fall oŕ cut rope. How many cuts would have turned to possible bleed outs if it were  not for the climber being able to bomb out asap.

How many legit aerial rescues have there been in the past year? How many of these would have been successful with a "stacked  bridge" of 2 friction systems and 2 ropes to sort out and not one?

The faff of climbing with multiple ropes aside, the main danger of this new edict is that when it comes to an actual incident, the 2 rope 2 TIP system becomes a major hindrance to the rescue, self or assisted. Instead of  being safer it would inadvertently be the opposite.

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Yes, some great points here. With a cut to one arm or hand you are far less likely to self-rescue with two rope systems. This will lead to more deaths, not less. 

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I think it's purely down to more training, to me, the cost of the courses is too much and doesn't equate to enough of an in depth course, a company near to me has advertised as week long cs38 at nearly £800. Hse can do all it needs to lay an umbrella over everything, but in 3 weeks of training, you'd be branded "competent" to take on the world. I believe if they are going to be bringing the 2 lifelines in, it should be brought in to the new climbers, the utility sector ( I don't climb line work but I'm sure rigging is at a minimum?) for us older generation of climbers, we have moved on with the times, srt, mechanical systems etc, 2 lines is literally me going back 5 years when trained on my 38. I believe it should be made mandatory to begin with, and maybe some kind of "timeline" when you can get off 2 ropes, say a new lad doing 6 months on 2 ropes when the job requires. I'm only young, but old school, I'm a firm believer that if your having these kinds of accidents, you shouldn't be doing this work. I do agree more problems with fatigue, gear etc. I think the balance of task at hand v 2 ropes will out balance the need for it, theres too many variables in tree work, a dismantle is a constantly moving thing, a reduction again the tree maybe not being removed, but the climber is flying around everywhere. Thanks

 

 

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3 hours ago, billpierce said:

I'd be interested to know what the rest of europe do about this if its an eu directive that has pushed toward 2 rope?

very very little.  italy is the only place that you need a second line, but only when accessing the tree ssrt

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4 hours ago, billpierce said:

I'd be interested to know what the rest of europe do about this if its an eu directive that has pushed toward 2 rope?

I think you're meant to climb with two lines in France but nowhere else. Seems like one of those times British people get a bit overly British and call it law. 

 

In addition to what others have said, what about when the worst happens and you're in a rescue scenario? 

For example, I'm climbing on two hitch climber systems. One of them is a great anchor but the other isn't brilliantly positioned, because that's the reality of it. I'm in 25m tree so in order to reach the ground I've got two 60m climbing ropes. While out on a branch I cut my arm and attempt to self rescue. 

Lowering through a fork as a natural redirect I attempt to reach the ground, but one arm is injured and I have two systems to operate.

Added to that my weight is distributed between two systems, the tail of each is deflected through the limb. In that case I'm not sure you would even move really? 

 

It seems to me that the HSE are taking rules and applying them to areas they don't fully appreciate. Tree work is not rope access work. Trees are complex, three dimensional structures which have to be treated as individuals. Forcing more systems on to that environment isn't a fix.

 

Perhaps what they should be looking at is how we train arborists in this country? I could book a few courses and have a chainsaw in a tree ticket within three weeks and go straight in to the industry as a qualified tree surgeon. To me that's vastly inadequate.

Colleges pump out new climbers at an amazing rate. And from my own experience, what I learned at college were dated and often inadequate techniques for today's industry. I don't believe much has changed in this respect. 

In Germany you pass an aerial rescue ticket and then have to log 300 hours in trees before you can get a chainsaw in a tree ticket. I think that approach, forcing people to gain more experience before giving them the responsibility of more dangerous tools, would be far more beneficial to climbers and the industry.

Edited by Mr. Squirrel
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