Climbing Wall Safety

Climbing is growing in popularity. It’s a great way to keep fit as well as lots of fun, but if you run a climbing wall, or are thinking about opening one, it’s vitally important to put safety first. After all, nobody is going to want climb on your wall if they don’t feel safe. Here are some key areas worth considering if you want to be sure you’re providing a safe climbing environment. 

     Photo by Prayitno / CC BY

Get the right equipment

The International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation sets guidelines for what equipment is suitable for safe climbing, as well as keeping a list of any products recalled for safety reasons. This a great way to be sure that you’re using the very best kit to keep your climbers injury-free. One of the most important ways to minimise risk and maintain customer confidence is making sure you have adequate padding, including dedicated climbing wall matting. It’s vitally important to have the right sort of flooring, with no gaps and an adequate depth of padding for the types of climbing activities you provide.


It is vital that both your staff and climbers have the appropriate training. Human error is the number one cause of climbing injuries and it’s your responsibility to do everything you can to mitigate this. Training programs such as Mountain Training’s Climbing Wall Award will give you the confidence that all of your staff have the right knowledge to keep your climbers safe. It’s then just as important that your climbers know what they’re doing before you let them loose on your wall by going through all the appropriate techniques and testing them on their knowledge. Staff must then make sure climbers are adequately supervised at all times to minimise the risk of them making mistakes and hurting themselves.


The best way to be sure that you’re providing a safe climbing environment and give your climbers the highest level of confidence is by joining an organisation such as the Association of British Climbing Walls (ABC). ABC set out minimum safety standards in their Guidelines for the Management and Use of Artificial Climbing Structures, which are endorsed by the government’s Health and Safety Executive. They can also advise you about statutory requirements and your duty of care, so you can be sure that you’re complying with all of the relevant legislation.

For further information about building and managing climbing walls safely, the British Mountaineering Council’s Climbing Wall Manual is well worth a read. For more information about the best kinds of flooring for your climbing wall, contact us today for help and advice or a quote. 

Posted on 25 Jun 2014 by Smith Brothers
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