Gear review: Mac-Pro – Rope ProtectionRope Access USA
“Use protection” – a phrase you probably heard in your teenage years. If you’ve been involved in the rope access world for longer than a week, then you’ve probably heard that phrase again, but this time it’s rope protection being referenced.
When it comes to looking after our gear in the field, ensuring our ropes are far from harm’s reach has to be a top priority! It doesn’t take a razor blade to damage or even cut ropes completely, abrasive edges and rope are not friends.
Damaged Ropes Kill
One of the most talked about incidents in our industry in recent years was the tragic death of a rope access worker in the North Sea (UK). Which was the result of both the main and backup lines being sheared on a sharp edge. Rope protection was certainly a contributing factor.
Rope protection comes in a wide variety of forms to help mitigate all the hazards we come across while rigging our ropes. Rigging to avoid edges isn’t always practical so we’re forced to use some form of ‘rope pro’.
Recently major oil companies have moved to completely ban the use of canvas rope protection, on both their on—and offshore installations. In our search for new and innovative rope protection, we came across the mac-pro, which looks to deal with a common hazard in the industrial setting. We were sent some mac-pros recently so we could test them in the field.
The Trouble With Walkways
If you’ve worked on offshore platforms, refineries, power plants or any industrial setting, then you’ve probably walked across steel grid walkways.
While this style of flooring provides us with access to rig through it, we must use protection to mitigate the potential of abrasion to our ropes. The common methods used include canvas and nylon sleeve style protectors or the use of steel and wire slings. While they can be effective, they’re clumsy and take more time to install. As well as the material style protectors not allowing you to see your ropes and in turn any potential damage.
A Very Simple Solution
The mac pro is a very simple solution. It allows you to effectively turn any openings in steel grid mesh into a smooth channel for your ropes to pass through.
When picking up the mac-pro for the first time we found it to be extremely lightweight. It has a clean, simple design and feels reassuringly robust. Installing it took a matter of seconds. The cord attached is easily tied to the steel mesh and keeps it in place while you feed your ropes through and voila, we instantly had a smooth path to rig our ropes. This also made retrieving our lines an easy task.
Being able to see your ropes gives you extra confidence in your system, something a regular sleeve protector can’t offer. A huge plus of the mac pro is where rescue situations are concerned. The mac-pro will allow you to easily lower personnel in an emergency, accommodating rig to lower setups.
We tested the mac-pro for months to see if it could handle the abuse most gear gets in our industry. It took everything we threw at it and still looks good as new.
We loved this product for its simplicity and the fact it provides a great solution for a common rigging scenario. It’s very affordable in comparison to most rope access equipment. Perhaps what we love most about the mac-pro, is that it was born through necessity, in the field, by a working rope tech.
Maximum service temperature : 336 °F
Extremely high protection against UV degradation
Made from a high-density nylon
High wear resistance facilitating lowering off personnel in emergency situations.
Accommodates up to two 13mm ropes.
For more information and for international sales please visit – www.mac-pro.com.au
For US sales and distribution
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