What does the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) Audit actually entail? How does it ensure Rope Access teams are safe? Since the Certificate of Recognition (COR) Audit is a well known program here in British Columbia, we’ve compared the IRATA Audit to the COR Audit to help you measure the safety of Rope Access in any work situation.
The COR Audit first looks at all your health and safety documentation (your OHS manual) to make sure your H&S policies are inline with WorksafeBC regulation. IRATA Audits also begin by looking at your Rope Access documentation (your Rope Access Operating Procedures-RAOP). Each section of the RAOP outlines the policy for that particular topic. The IRATA Auditor will review each section to ensure it is inline with IRATA standards (Click here for IRATA standards)
To ensure a company is following their written policies, the COR Auditor will look into work site paperwork, training records, equipment manifests, and etc. to confirm compliance. The IRATA Auditor will also review previous project binders to ensure all relevant paperwork has been properly used to follow Rope Access procedures. Particular Rope Access paperwork include the Work and Rescue Plan, and the Risk Assessment & Method Statement.
COR Auditors are required to observe work sites. However, IRATA Auditors are not required to attend active work sites. Instead, they rely heavily on the quality of the paperwork to ensure compliance on the work site. For example, all safety documentation must be appropriately signed by Managers, Rope technicians, Subcontractors, etc. While going through the documentation, the Auditor will ask questions about the paperwork, the project, why certain decisions were made in regards to the Rope Access methodology, and confirm explanations on hazards and controls.
The IRATA Auditor conducts informal interviews with the management of the Rope Access company whereas the COR auditor will conduct formal interviews with a sample of the company’s personnel. IRATA Auditors will ask questions to confirm what they find in the documentation and will require management to be able to explain the details in all their paperwork.
Depending if you are going through a small COR Audit (1-20 people) or a large COR audit (20+ people), the company certified to authorize this Audit will dictate what type of Auditors you will work with. Typically, you will either have an external Auditor come in to Audit your company or use an internal Auditor; who must pass the internal Auditor course. For IRATA, certified IRATA Auditors must do all the Audits.
Although Rope Access policies cover elements specific to the Rope Access methodology, the RAOP also include other H&S elements that are comparable to the COR. These include: