Loading arm maintenance using rope access

High Q completed a comprehensive maintenance overhaul of four FMC Chicksan loading arms at a refinery in the Middle East. The scope of works included removal and replacement of all hydraulic hoses and painting of the loading arm structures. The project was completed ahead of schedule and within budget, and was completed with zero lost time incidents.

Problem identification

During planning for maintenance of jetty loading arms, a major oil and gas operator identified a number of issues associated with the use of scaffold and crane access:

  • Loading arms cannot be brought back into service quickly if another arm fails in service
  • Hazard to other arms during installation and removal of scaffold and use of crane and man box
  • PTW and incident risks increased with co-ordination of multiple work parties – scaffolders, crane operations, painters and mechanical teams.
  • Previous projects had incurred significant cost over-run from original estimate

The project team had utilised rope access teams for maintenance of other items of plant on site, and invited High Q to submit a proposal to carry out the works utilising rope access.

Photo showing the comparison between workers using scaffold and workers using rope access to enable maintenance works.

Project review, refurbishment of loading arm utilising rope access

  • Project completed ahead of schedule and on budget.
  • Completed with zero lost time or incidents.
  • When an in service loading arm failed, High Q were able to remove all equipment and return possession of the arm within 24 hours.

Comparison between rope access and scaffold loading arm projects
Summary of benefits

  • Proven safe method of work
  • Flexible deployment and de-mobilisation provides greatest operational availability of arm
  • Single source supply minimises PTW issues
  • Cost effective


IRATA Full Member Company, Operator and Trainer O/T8149

Our Location


Cost effective compared to other providers.

High Q training course

Excellent in all aspects of service.

Maintenance Team Leader
UK Oil and Gas Operator

Very good value for money.

IRATA Training Course

Learnt very valuable skills and knowledge.

IRATA Training Course

Happy to get stuck into any task.

Project Manager
Telecommunications company, North Sea.

Lots of valuable knowledge.

IRATA Training Course

Friendly, and a helpful secretary.

IRATA Training Course

Steve was happy to give me extra interesting stuff to do after I was happy with syllabus, which will help my progression to L2.

Sept, 2018
Irata Training Course

Excellent trainers lots of time for individual progression and the ‘no question is a stupid question’ theory is always good.

IRATA Training Course

Very knowledgable.

IRATA Training Course

Compared to other training companies the High Q Trainer was better.

Training Course

Knowledgeable and clear instruction.

High Q training course

Learnt so many new skills and better technique.

March, 19
IRATA Training Course

You learn everything you need.

IRATA Training Course

Excellent co-operation and professional attitudes during these complex works. Job Well done.

Site Engineer
UK Oil Operator

Fantastic work, efficient and delivered on time with minimum disruption.  Highly recommended.

Euan Noble
Managing Director, ROKT LTD

Very approachable. Easy to follow teaching techniques combined with a clear teaching style.

Aug, 2018

Easy to follow teaching techniques combined with a clear teaching style. New practical techniques taught.

High Q training course

Having more than one trainer was great as at most points there was one to one.


Excellent use of space.

High Q training course

I have heard of other training providers. High Q has the best feedback.

IRATA Training Course

Steve accomodated me perfectly

J. Whitely
IRATA Training Course

It was really good the trainer was a big help and took us through well.

IRATA Training Course

Very professional, trainer made each candidate feel confident. Training and teaching are best I’ve had.

High Q training course

Well worth the money and was good that I was able to go with the return customer course price

IRATA Training Course

Made us feel very welcome and broke the instructions down to the basic level. Very good.

IRATA Training Course

Superb and friendly, communication throughout. Would highly Recommend.

March 2019
Irata Training Course

I was very happy with High Q’s performance.  Really appreciate your efforts.

Principal Engineer
Capita Infastructure

Good, really enjoyed it.

IRATA Training Course

Excellent Course.

IRATA Training Course