18.11.2021 | Facade

What is rope access technology and what are its benefits for facades?

Safety & beauty on facades - no problem with rope access technology. Because of very differing facade types, a safety system is required with which the user can reach otherwise inaccessible locations for cleaning and servicing tasks. This is particularly where the illusion of safety occurs more quickly than most people would like. Thanks to its great flexibility and high safety standards, one process which currently enjoys favour is rope access technology. In this article, we explain to you the concept and its benefits.

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Specialist series: Fall protection for facades


7 tips on installing concealed fall protection systems on façades, with or without rope access technology

Safety systems should not spoil the aesthetics of the façade. Nevertheless, they are important for maintenance & cleaning. The imposing glass structure was in the spotlight when it was time for cleaning the windows, because nobody had thought about the fall protection system required for this on the building’s unusual façade. So that you avoid being confronted with exactly this challenge, we have put together 7 tips for concealed fall protection and rope access technology.


Correct planning and implementation of rope access technology on facades

Fall protection with rope access technology is an ideal solution for facades if they are also planned in good time. Architects increasingly decide to install rope access technology. The best way to integrate the rope access technology seamlessly into the building structures is to factor it in at the planning stage. The challenges arising during planning and implementation and the mistakes to avoid are summarised below.


Holistic rescue concept for facades

After a fall every minute counts. Of course, the goal must be to avoid accidents through even better planning, equipment and training. If accidents do happen, rescue measures must be professionally prepared in order to keep the consequences as low as possible. One missing link to the rescue chain can lead to serious injuries and death. In this article you will learn how rescue concepts are prepared in connection with facade work and how rescue measures are to be carried out in an emergency.


What is rope access technology and what are its benefits for facades?

Safety & beauty on facades - no problem with rope access technology. Because of very differing facade types, a safety system is required with which the user can reach otherwise inaccessible locations for cleaning and servicing tasks. This is particularly where the illusion of safety occurs more quickly than most people would like. Thanks to its great flexibility and high safety standards, one process which currently enjoys favour is rope access technology. In this article, we explain to you the concept and its benefits.


5 modern facade types on which rope access technology is possible

Facades differ greatly. Every facade is unique and has its own special requirements in terms of safety, because each building shell must be cared for, serviced and, where necessary, repaired. In order to avoid the illusion of safety, a sustainable safety concept is therefore absolutely essential. In this blog, we would like to introduce to you 5 facade types where we have already gained experience in the past and were able to apply fall protection using rope access technology.


A day’s work in rope access technology for facades

Safety is created above all through the correct workflow. Since 2019 rope access technology has been officially registered in TRBS 2121 as authorised working equipment. It is a rope-supported access process for installation, cleaning, and service tasks on facades. A debriefing and analysis takes place afterwards. In our blog, we’d like to show you this chronology for the individual steps of rope access technology, and to explain each of them briefly.


Rope access technology on facades - all information at a glance

Definition, benefits, system, processes, legal foundations & more. Buildings are becoming higher, more modern, more complex, more spacious... The safety technology for working at height on these buildings must be correspondingly well-developed and flexible. This is why agile and dynamic rope access technology is being used with increasing frequency. It provides optimum fusing of aesthetics and safety on facades, and simultaneously provides the users with maximum flexibility when performing facade tasks such as cleaning, servicing, or repairs.


All-round protection on facades with the (S)TOP application principle

Industrial safety on facades is essential. Dangerous behaviour in the workplace must be avoided under all circumstances. In our example, the solution would be suitable fall protection for cleaning the ceiling-high window. Ideally, risks are already eliminated in advance,e.g. by means of correct workflows. We now consider, in terms of facade safety systems, what the acronym (S)TOP represents and what lies behind it.


7 steps of risk assessment of facades

Tasks on facades harbour risks which have to be minimised. Safety concepts for risks of falling from facades, on roofs, and also in industry have been our special field since 2001. Facade safety is an especially exciting area, because there are an incredible number of different facade types, each with its very own requirements.


How To Achieve the Optimal Invitation to Tender for Facade Protection

Our experts share their best tips. The earlier the technical advice and planning for facade protection takes place, the better you’ll have your costs under control and the more successful you’ll be in the tendering process. Discover our 3 professional tips for this.


Fall Protection for Facades: How Much Does it Cost?

All cost items at a glance. Roland K. opens the envelope and pulls out a multi-page stack of paper, and his heart almost stops. The offer for securing the facade of his current construction project is much higher than he’d previously calculated in the tender. Our architect Roland K. here could have avoided this sinking feeling that comes with discovering unanticipated costs. Because with good and early planning, cost-effective solutions for fall protection on your facade can be found. Read on and find out what the costs are made up of, and how you can plan and implement facade security in a way that will save you money.


Whoops, facade safety forgotten – what can be done?

Necessary steps & expert tips that work. Inclusion of an experienced expert for facade safety early in the project pays for itself in the end, through appropriate know-how and attractive cost benefit advantages. And even if the fall protection system has been forgotten, a partner like this usually has a final ace up his sleeve.


Fall protection on facades: 2 best practice examples

Stylishly matched to the project’s architecture. For every fall protection system, the focus is on saving lives. A holistic, sustainable safety concept for the facade safety system is the best possible gain for construction projects. At the same time, the safety system should integrate into the overall concept of the building, and complement the architecture. Discover two best practice examples for façade protection below.


High-level view of fall protection on facades

Fall protection on facades needs to be stylish and safe. Every year, hundreds of people suffer accidents on roofs, facades, and other workplaces at height. The shockingly high number of such accidents could be reduced if suitable fall protection systems were in use. However, at the same time the facade safety system should not detract from the beauty of the building, because every structure has its own aesthetic value.

Fall protection for Lobster’s facade

Even very modern facades also need fall protection

Time to travel new paths. That’s the motto of Lobster Data GmbH in Tutzing (Bavaria). But it’s not just as a software provider that Lobster puts its faith in developing and selling highly innovative solutions. Recently the company management decided to travel new paths in terms of safety too.

Med Campus Linz - safe facades with TAURUS

Safety at dizzying heights: TAURUS from INNOTECH as fall protection for the MED CAMPUS Linz

The building’s modern, aesthetic facade, designed by the LORENZATELIERS architectural practice, obviously has to be cleaned and maintained regularly. So that these cleaning and maintenance tasks on the external components of the facade, plus the window and glass elements, were made as safe as possible, those responsible decided on a TAURUS professional fall protection system.

TAURUS for façade protection at Axel Springer

TAURUS rail system, the perfect fall protection system for all types of modern facades

Regardless of the facade type, the topic of safety is always of decisive importance. Especially for intelligent facades which adapt to different weather conditions and to the actual position of the sun, regular servicing and cleaning is always necessary. Find out in this post how TAURUS is the optimum solution as fall protection for facades.

A fall prevention system differs from rope access technology in the way that the system is used.

Michael Pett

Very often, just a glance is enough to recognise where cleaning is needed. However, what is just a small job for smaller window facades represents a challenge on a quite different scale for enormous building facades. In addition, because of differing weathering conditions as the seasons change, some materials suffer not only visually but also require regular technical care and servicing.


Definition of rope access technology

Rope access technology is an access process for activities such as installation, cleaning, and servicing tasks at locations which are difficult to access, such as building facades. In colloquial terms, rope access technology is also known as industrial climbing. But don't confuse this with the sport of climbing, to which it is only very remotely related. Rope access technology is also known as the process of rope-supported access and positioning. The following definition is to be found in the glossary at sachkunde24.de: “processes used by professional climbers, recognised under occupational safety law, in which the user moves in a planned manner on ropes horizontally, diagonally, or vertically to his working position, and/or in which he positions himself there”.

Under the term industrial climbing, the process has been in use for many years. However, what is new is the official description of rope access technology in TRBS 2121 Part 3 as authorised working equipment.


Section 1 TRBS 2121 Part 3

Technical regulations for industrial safety (TRBS) Endangerment of workers caused by falling during the use of access and positioning processes with the aid of ropes (TRBS 2121 Part 3).

German federal law


This technical regulation applies to the determination of measures to protect workers from endangerment from falling during the use of access and positioning processes with the aid of ropes. [...]


Servicing and cleaning tasks on facades:

  • Tasks in building construction and civil engineering
  • Boiler or silo inspections
  • Erection and dismantling tasks for event technology
  • Inspection and servicing of wind turbines
  • Torque testing on lattice masts
  • Installation of collective fall protection measures
  • Event rigging
  • Slope and cliff stabilisation
  • Tree pruning

This includes the mutual rescue of the workers.


Rope access technology vs. fall protection

A fall prevention system differs from rope access technology in the way that the system is used. The first is a type of fall arrest system which reliably traps the user in the event of a fall and which, correspondingly, is not permanently under load. In contrast, with rope access technology, the user is permanently suspended in the system, which is therefore under load without interruption. Using this technology, industrial climbers can position themselves flexibly at different points on the facade, and so even sections which are difficult to reach become accessible. Whether anchor points such as EAP-ABP-10-30-A4 are used for this, or a rail system like TAURUS is used, depends on various factors:

  • Aesthetics


  • Situation-related circumstances


  • Time requirement


  • Facade type


Advantages of rope access technology

Depending on the type, different fall protection systems provide a range of benefits. And so rope access technology has a number of advantages:

  • Optimum accessibility
    for slender buildings, rope access technology provides the best possible accessibility to the various points on a facade. First class cleaning, care, and servicing of the facade surfaces are thus ensured.


  • Low-cost alternative
    access technology represents an affordable option, compared with technical measures such as lifting platforms, a crane, or scaffolding, especially when this technology is already factored in and planned for during the early project phases of building construction. This means that the user is quickly ready for action and rapidly reaches all points that he needs to. The result is reduced working times and less use of technology. In comparison: Use of a crane does not necessarily make every part of the facade accessible. Lifting platforms are able to reach only certain heights.


  • Retention of visual appearance
    access technology can be optimally integrated into the building’s aesthetics. For example, the narrow track cross-section, the ability to bend the rail, and surface anodisation of the TAURUS rail system ensure that the beauty of the facade surface becomes one with the system. In other words, the system hugs the existing building/facade structure. In addition, rope access technology using anchor points can be perfectly adapted to the facade from the very outset, in order to be as visually unobtrusive as possible.


  • A safe process
    the relevant standards are complied with, rope access technology is an extremely safe process. To practise rope access and positioning technology on facades, appropriate training (e.g. FISAT, IRATA) as a certified worker at height must be given. It also creates the basis for working with rope access technology, followed by annual additional training or repeat instruction. A further standard safety requirement which goes hand in hand with rope access technology on facades is a holistic rescue concept


  • Flexible and short-term operational capability
    With rope access technology, cleaning, servicing, and care of a facade can be planned on a short-term basis. This is because the system, factored in during the planning process and permanently installed during the construction phase, makes the user flexible in terms of time, and independent of equipment like lifting platforms or cranes.  


  • Maximum quality
    is essential to include rope access technology in the planning process from the very start. Through our planning service, a high-quality solution is developed tailored to the individual requirements. Every one of our fall protection and rope access technology systems impresses through high-class materials and optimum quality.


Summary: Rope access technology on facades

Cleaning, care, and servicing of facades must be protected, because the illusion of safety has fatal consequences for all involved. When rope access technology is used, safety and aesthetics can be combined optimally. Users benefit from maximum flexibility and are able to avoid the use of large-scale equipment.

Consult our free Checklist for other useful information about rope access technology used on facades and buildings.

Checkliste facades fall protection