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Rope Access Support Services for South Wales Quarry

Accessing and entering the quarry with no direct access from ground level

As experts in rope access and rope rescue, we have helped several quarries that needed assistance accessing and entering areas that had no direct access from ground level.

Following the support and expertise we provided to Penderyn Quarry, we were contacted by another quarry in South Wales who needed assistance to enable surveyors access, to complete structural reports.

The need

Many quarries are built on old collieries in South Wales and so very often surveys need to be conducted to determine if any spaces have opened naturally.

Whilst surveyors usually have drawings and details of known mines, it is important they check to see if any other large voids have opened inside the quarry before extraction work is advanced.

For this quarry, the only access into the area the surveyors needed to enter was vertically down the side of the quarry and access could only be made via rope.

Furthermore, a bat survey was required to see if the quarry had bats in residence or was a suitable habitat for bats to live and breed. And bat surveyors required direct access to potential roosts within quarry.

A tunnel inside the South Wales quarry

Initial approach

Health and safety is paramount in a quarry. Steep slopes, rock instability and unknown voids can be commonplace so ensuring a strict health and safety regime is vital.

For this quarry, access presented challenges both due to height, inaccessibility and working conditions.

A full site inspection was carried out initially where we discussed specific requirements, suitable anchor points ahead of the planned work activities, the environment and the risks associated. This allowed us to finalise our rescue plan/risk assessments and method statements that dealt with the most efficient and effective way to rescue a casualty in the event of an emergency from the quarry using a rope access solution.

All our rescue workers are internally qualified to a recognised standard and periodically assessed for competence as part of our competence management system.  We also employ specialists across the business that have the International Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) Level 1-3 qualifications. 

The view at the bottom of quarry in South Wales

What we did

The surveys were completed over a 2-day period and during that time we provided a team of five rope access and rescue specialists to act as chaperones for the surveyors whilst they were conducting the recce of the area, using rope access techniques. 

The MRS Training & Rescue team provided rope access support whilst the surveyors were working in these high-risk environments. And were on stand-by to offer on-site safety and medical support along with technical rescue services should an emergency arise.

Two members of the MRS Training & Rescue specialist rope access team in a quarry

Stand by safety and medical support provided by MRS Training & Rescue

The results

MRS Training & Rescue has developed a well-deserved reputation as a company with industry-leading technical and management capabilities for rope access and rescue. Our highly skilled technicians proved helpful with their local knowledge of the area and provided rope access chaperone and safety cover over the course of the works. The surveyors completed all works required and felt safe and reassured by the MRS team on site.

The MRS team are looking forward to assisting with future challenging access for quarries and other high-risk industries.

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