July 2012 Archives

A trio of safety questions

Three challenge course safety questions -- figure out your own answers, then read ours after the jump:

1. Does an "assisted braking" belay device (like a GriGri) make belaying safer?

2. How do you tackle a situation with poor equipment storage? Imagine that you have recently been hired as the challenge course manager for a summer camp. Upon review of the procedures regarding equipment, you discover that no rope logs have been kept, that equipment was stored in a damp crawl space under a cabin and that much of it is moldy and rusted and that camp staff was allowed to use climbing equipment for personal use to various rock climbing sites. What steps will you take to assure that all of the equipment is in good order? What new procedures you will put in place to improve the situation?

3. No designated challenge course manager: For many years, a local high school challenge course program has distributed equipment keys to PE staff in the district so they can use the course with their students. The competency level of the staff varies greatly as some have received professional training and some have been trained internally. There is no one person in charge of the site beyond someone assuming the responsibility for distributing the keys. What are the implications of managing a site in this manner?

Think about your answers -- then read ours:

Carabiner recall

We've received word of a recall of Omega Pacific 7/16" Quik-Lok carabiners, and are passing it along as a public service to our customers and blog readers.

Full details on the recall, including descriptions and lot number codes, are posted here at Omega Pacific's website. Omega Pacific notes that there have not been any actual failures or injuries, and that, in fact, "destruct-testing of the affected goods do not reveal any deterioration of strength as all defective samples broke at or above rated strength." But the carabiners do not meet Omega Pacific's quality standards in that they may be subject to accelerated corrosion that could result in reduced strength.

These carabiners are not used in our own challenge course construction work, nor have they ever been sold in our online store. But even if you have purchased your gear primarily from us, we recommend that you check through your inventory to be sure that none of these units have found their way into your equipment.

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