“SAFETY FIRST” RAP3 pays great attention to site safety across its work sites, but recently engaged experts in mountain safety to help improve safety on sections where the risk of falling is high and likely to have serious consequences. As with most roads in mountainous districts, the RAP3 roads cross hillsides with falls of several hundred metres down steep slopes.
Whilst safety ropes and harnesses have been used on RAP3 roads since the beginning, a recent safety oriented field inspection identified a number of opportunities to further improve worker safety. RAP3 hire two professional climbers and mountain safety specialists, Mr Rajesh Lama and Mr Abiral Rai, from Himalayan Medics to advise on how better to secure and use safety ropes and harnesses in dangerous locations. They installed several different types of demonstration rope systems for different site conditions, gave instructions on the correct way to wear the different types of safety harnesses, tie safety knots, to secure anchors and use safety ropeways. They demonstrated how the use of ‘screw lock carabineers’ could make safety ropeways more easily accessible and more likely to be used by workers and, where necessary, by the public. During the demonstrations our staff and workers attempted to tie the correct knots – these proved quite difficult to remember and so a series of instruction videos have also been made in all the new safety techniques introduced. As a result of the demonstrations, RAP3 is in the process of introducing these new safety ropeway techniques to all dangerous locations on the RAP3 works and to use the videos to broaden the training to all that might benefit from them. It is hoped that these measures will minimise the risk of workers falling while working on or accessing the remaining difficult sections of the RAP3 roads.