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Abseil Access vs Just Access

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Abseil Access vs Just Access

How do I know what Access System is best for my building?

Not all buildings require abseil access, just like all users of fall protection are not required to be trained how to abseil. Majority of anchors or surface mounted cable systems are there to provide a safe form of access on and around a roof area. Installed to prevent a fall by keeping the user in restraint form the edge, and catch someone should a fall occur from the edge or through the roof.

Here’s 4 easy questions for building owners, managers and architects:

  1. Do I need to direct traffic, on and around the roof area?
  2. What type of maintenance contractors are likely to use access system?
  3. What regular maintenance is required on the roof or building?
  4. Can any building maintenance be undertaken from the ground or via elevated work platform?


An electrician or air conditioning technician doesn’t need to be trained in abseiling if the roof area is all they are accessing. Same can be said for roof maintenance companies, they could simply require a surface mounted cable system around perimeter placing the users in restraint.

Everyone should have some formal training to at any height, this should be the contractors responsibility. We always advise formal training but also offer clients systems familiarisation training, whi9ch gets into how the system works, through to hands on, how to use the system. There are plenty of options and professionals that can help.

Do your homework, don’t be afraid to ask the questions, talk to the contractors or your client, then find a specialized heights company that you can work with. A specialized business like Total Height Safety will support you and your contractors throughout the process and beyond and advise a practicable, safe cost effective solution.

Let’s just remember that not everyone requires abseil, some simply require a safe access system for general maintenance.