As many of you should already be aware, Petzl has brought out a statement regarding the use of the Petzl Shunt as a back up device for rope access.
“Since 1999 Petzl has provided specific information regarding the special use of the Petzl SHUNT as a back-up device for industrial rope access. Petzl required that users must have received and mastered IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) training or similar and must also use the Petzl SHUNT within the current “IRATA method”.
Extract from the June 2009 statement:
“Professional operatives who choose to use the Petzl Shunt as a rope-access and work-positioning back-up device must have received and mastered IRATA training or similar, and must use the Petzl Shunt with IRATA method. Responsibility for this remains with the employer and the user.”
In light of recent incidents and accidents, Petzl has made a new statement:
“Previous Petzl statements required special training for this specific use of the Petzl Shunt. The lack of any described methods or special training therefore makes these previous Petzl statements obsolete.
As a measure of precaution, Petzl recommends to NOT use the Petzl Shunt, while towed by a cord, as a back-up device in rope access.
This statement supersedes all previous statements and communications relating to this particular use of the Petzl Shunt.”
Obviously this has a direct effect on IRATA qualified rope access technicians, since the Petzl Shunt has been the most widely used back up device for the IRATA double rope access method world wide.
IRATA committee members had a meeting in Geneva early this year to discuss the current situation and have given an official recommendation. IRATA Geneva Statement.
RAI has reviewed it’s procedures to fall in line with current IRATA guidelines, and is also in the process of testing new back up devices, namely the DMM Buddy back up device and the Petzl ASAP with Absorbica (for 2 person rescue).
We will be posting test results within the coming weeks.