Abseiler’s Story: Conquering Fear of Height

Fastart Abseilers. From left: Kelly, Kevin & Harith.

Tabi basa & greetings everybody! Today I’d like to write about these brave souls that works as an abseiler. Abseiler is defined as a person who descends down a nearly vertical face by using doubled rope that is wrapped around the body & attached to high point. Most of the time, they deal with great heights & literally hanging out.

I took my chance to ask a few that I have met in person about their profession. They are trained & certified under IRATA (International Rope Access Trade Association) & internationally recognised. For beginners, Rope Access Level 1. For the experienced, they have Rope Access Level 2. Rope Access Level 3 is for supervisors.

Working at Height

When comparing IRATA and WAH, IRATA is internationally-recognised, while WAH is more local. In the work at height industry such as these, there are many regulations, laws & standard application such as FMA 1967 (Act 139), OSHA 1994 (Act 514) & DOSH Guidelines for the Prevention of Falls at Workplaces 2007.

To join this work at height industry, most important things is you have to be fit & has no fear of height, like what you’ll hear from these peoples: abseiler’s from Fastart & a lady on hiatus.

First one is Kevin Use’ Pahang, 26, from Long Apu, Baram. He has been working as abseiler for the past 3 years. His unforgettable experience is working rope-to-rope at 50m tower. The challenges as an abseiler is the fear of height, and a lot of things could go wrong. One wrong move, they would end up falling to the ground. Therefore, safety is their top priority. He hoped that this profession is not being regarded as lowly profession but as a profession that’s equal to the other. He also hoped that it can be extended across other industrial sector as well.

Second one is Mohd Harith Ugak Minggat, 31 from Sibu. He has been working as an abseiler for the past 5 years & have done lots, including changing flare tip, inspection at blasting tower, underside helideck, jacket leg & touch-up painting of crane’s boom. The challenge of working at height have him the fulfilment because he loves to hang at a high places. He hopes thay Rope Access technique is made more popular in oil & gas industry as well in TMM’s (projects, maintenance & construction).

Third one is Kelly Mutang, 39 from Lawas. He has been working as Blaster / Painter, BP team leader and BP supervisor. He is going to take his abseiling course & painting inspector next year. He loves the challenge that abseiling will grant him, though he also has to face the challenge of being far from his family.

Ain. Nang berani nya tok.

Last but not least, a rose among the thorn, Nurain binti Muhammad, 34 from Sibu. This happily-married lady worked offshore since 2011 and had worked with Oceancare, Velosi and lastly RIA Solution. The challenge of being a women abseiler is being understimated due to physical strength differences. But she proved that a woman also can perform as a professional abseiler & deliver their part to the hiring client, be it Operations or Maintenance team. She hoped that many more women will took up the challenge to be an abseiler because it is a good profession & break the stereotype of women being afraid of height.

I hope the story that I have written about these brave souls inspires you & broadens your career option, especially those who love to climb & enjoy the heights. Stay safe & take care!

Tukang Rantek,
Claudius

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