Rich Hattier is change agent. His involvement in the rigging industry has spanned many years. Initially, Rich’s journey started at the gates of “the arborist” and later through portals of ISC Wales. I have known Rich now for a few years and was initially captivated by his humor and focused approach to “no non-sense” rigging. Readily admitting the arborists, while cowboys at heart need a better way to get their work done.. safer, quicker and more efficiently. This lead to a conversion at the most recent SPRAT conference (held in Phoenix). So with my pursuit of transformation… Rich and I agreed to create the first ever planned paradigm shift and cross pollinated project for firstly, arborists and secondly… the rope access industry.
As Rich and I unfurled the flags of standard operating procedures…i.e. the staunchness of the loyalists and purists with those of the “progressive persuasion”, we realized immediately that controversy will certainly be served at this table. We knew that the rope access industry has a stellar record of not just performance but of safety as well. The question though was that both industries use different systems but are really in the same game… getting work done at height. Can cowboys of different spectrums share, learn and grow from each other? That is the question we set out to answer. And so with this in mind, we set a date for project filming and dove in.
Having just go back from Kentucky, I thought… let’s get people a sneak preview. And oh, BTW!!!! The location as much a controversy as the topic of rigging… Cave Hill Cemetery and Arboretum. We’ll touch on this topic in an upcoming blog article and why we were invited to such an honorable place.
“I typically start [my] class with an overview of the Doubled Rope systems currently in use by the majority of arborists worldwide. This is done in order to better understand both the positive and negative aspects of Doubled Rope Climbing and to point out that many of the climbing systems that we view as “safe” are only safe if we apply them correctly. I make sure to stress that the intent of this class is not to show that SRWP is superior to DdRT in every possible way, but to highlight that SRWP is simply another set of options, really a new range of options, that if used properly can complement the DdRT options that you already have in order to make working in trees potentially safer and more efficient.”
“I fully illustrate the 3 main concerns that climbers face when they start to utilize SRWP. I demonstrate the various methods to ascend, the various methods to approach limb walking, and also speak to the psychological affect that climbing with 1 rope can have on a climber. I also go into a lot of detail hear concerning the very steep initial learning curve when working with SRWP for the first time and that climbers should be extremely careful to focus on safety during this initial learning period.”
“I like to give a general “tease” as to why you may want to consider SRWP as an option. The main idea here is to show how you maintain fully consistent friction when utilizing SRWP with a Rope Wrench and Stiff Tether. Usually this small demonstration of my hitch running smoothly despite my rope coming into contact with branches gets everyone pretty interested in learning more. The biggest thing I stress here is the range of options that a climber has with SRWP when compared to DdRT in regards to proper work positioning in the tree and how they can greatly reduce their exposure to risk in terms of less slack in their climbing systems and their increased ability to redirect easily.”
Rich has more than 20 years invested in Arboriculture as a production climber, commercial tree service business owner, and safety trainer. In 2006 Rich shifted gears away from production tree climbing to the design, manufacture, and distribution of Arborist Climbing Equipment. In 2014 Rich signed on with ISC Wales to operate as their North American Sales Manager responsible for all height disciplines. Rich became an ISA Certified Arborist in 1993, an ISA Certified Climber Specialist in 2000, and currently holds Certifications as a SPRAT Level 1 Technician, Competent Tower Climber and Rescuer, Confined Space Rescue Technician, Trauma at Height Technician, Global Wind Power Technician, and Technical Vertical Rescue (Brazil).
We are in production now and hope to release this first project sometime in August. Stay tuned! And for those of you who haven’t joined Rigging Lab Academy… Unlimited access to over 30+ courses and 500+ videos (10-12+ new courses and 120+ specialized training videos are added each year!)
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