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Alistair Merricks


irata international

ARB Stream

Monday 8th April | 4:15pm


Ropes, Knots & other interesting stuff


I have worked in rope access since 1994, having first started out in Hong Kong.

When I returned to Australia I started my rope access business AIRA and was probably one of ten companies specialising in the field. Most companies were cleaning windows. That didn’t appeal to me so I offered my services to assets maintenance, repairs and inspections.

Over the years we have pioneered rope access work in Power Stations - Processing plants - Wind Energy - Civil Engineering

I represent Irata Australia as a board member at the Working At Heights Association and as a committee member of SF15 at Standards Australia.

Currently, I hold a board position with Irata International, am an Irata Auditor and Instructor.

I have been working at heights, specifically with ropes for the majority of my working life and hence have acquired some knowledge in the field. I have cut down enough trees over my time, to know that I do not know trees.

Working at height and safe systems of work is my speciality.


Working from ropes in an industrial environment is different from manoeuvring around a tree. However there are striking similarities, we all go up and down ropes using similar techniques. We have similar problems that have to be overcome. Therefore what can one sector learn from the other?  Are we so different not to have cross over learnings or are we more closely aligned than we would readily acknowledge?

We will explore our differences and similarities. What does the regulator and standards say about Arboriculture and Rope Access. What makes a safe system of work across the roping industry. How can the lessons learnt by Irata International cross pollinate into Arboriculture and are these relevant.

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