What is BS 7985 for Rope Access?

Mar 2, 2022 | Telecoms

BS 7985 is a term used in rope access to describe a standard that training and practice should meet. What does BS 7985 mean and why does it matter?

What is BS 7985?

BS 7985 is the code of practice that provides advice on the duties placed on employers, employees, and self-employed people when using rope access methods for working at height.

This is a standard that all rope access courses not assessed by an awarding body, such as IRATA, is required to meet to ensure the safe delivery of the training course.

The standard recommends good practices, and gives recommendations and guidance on the safe use of rope access methods.

BS 7985 shouldn’t apply to alternative uses of rope access, such as leisure activities and emergency evacuation systems and their procedures – however, individuals may find this standard provides good advice for general rope access, as many of the principles still apply and provide good practices for working with rope access.

What does BS 7985 cover?

The standard covers a range of topics including but not limited to:

  • Legislation
  • Selecting operatives and equipment
  • The welfare of operative and access by non-rope access personnel.
  • The certification, marking and traceability of equipment.
  • Procedures for the inspection of equipment
  • Inspection, care and maintenance of equipment

Under these recommendations, you can be sure that a rope access course following the standards of BS 7985 will have ensured the following:

Thoroughly inspected, cared for and maintained equipment that they use for Rope Access, including:
  • Textile equipment such as harnesses, rope, lanyards, and webbing.
  • Metal equipment such as ascenders, defenders, pulleys, etc.
  • Protective equipment such as helmets
  • Metal equipment may be marked by an engraving or a stamp. 
  • Textile and protective equipment may be marked with a pen which will not damage the equipment. If the strength or function of an item is effected, it will not be acceptable to use in rope access.
All equipment is certified, marked, and can be traced
  • If a piece of equipment doesn’t work as intended or fails, the equipment will need to be traced back to the manufacturer to investigate the equipment.
  • If equipment is not marked and therefore not traceable, it should not be used for rope access.
The relevant legislation is being followed
  • The course content and practical activities should all follow the relevant legislation, such as the Working at Height Regulations 2005 for all training involving working at height.
Appropriate and safe methods are work are chosen.
  • An experienced and competent operative should ensure that all methods of work trained and used in the rope access training are appropriate, safe, and meet the various standards required of rope access training, such as the 2005 Working at Height Regulations.
Competent operatives and suitable equipment is chosen
  •  The operatives participating in rope access will need to have proven they are competent, and medical or physical issues won’t cause issues performing rope access.
  • Equipment is inspected carefully before each use and is maintained to a high standard.
  • The equipment is appropriate, up to date, up to the latest regulations, and traceable. 

Book a BS 7895 Rope Access course near you.

POD Training and Consultancy offer rope access courses meeting the standard of BS 7895, that can be tailored to you and your workplace. Visit our Rope Access training course for more details.

Rope Access Training Course

Rope Access

The course is designed for those who have specific trade skills but wish to use rope access as a method of gaining access to their workplace.