Equipment, whether hired, borrowed or owned by the school or students, must be in a safe condition and suitable for the activity.
A log describing the use of all climbing equipment must be maintained by the owner and shown to the group leader on request.
First aid kits
First aid kits appropriate to the location and level of training must be carried.
Clothing is the individual’s primary protection against severe and variable weather conditions.
If the activity occurs outdoors, to protect against sunburn sun exposure use broad-spectrum, water-resistant SPF 30+ sunscreen on all exposed parts of the body, applied according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Students who own sunglasses should be encouraged to bring and wear them when required.
Glasses or sunglasses should be secured and long hair tied back to prevent catching in a belay device or other equipment. Loose jewellery must not be worn. Rings should be taped (if not removed). Items of jewellery or rings which students remove should be placed in a secure location so they do not get lost.
Staff and students must be easily identifiable.
Staff must determine the most suitable identification system based on an assessment of the environment, students’ skills, the type of activities to be undertaken, and the age and number of students.
Use only belaying devices that are in good working order and meet Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme (UIAA) standards, Comite Europeen de Normalisation (CEN) or the Australian equivalent standards.
Anchor points on the structure must satisfy engineering design regulations and be used in the manner for which they were designed.
It is recommended that belay devices are anchored with an engineered anchor point.
WorkSafe provides guidance on the use of Fall Prevention Systems and specifically cite AS 3533, Amusement Rides and Devices, and AS 1891, Industrial Fall Arrest Systems and Devices. See: WorkSafe
Providers of artificial climbing and abseiling activities must refer to manufacturers and installers to establish appropriate operating parameters. These parameters must address the correct fitting and attachment of harnesses. The harness must also ensure the student or staff member will remain secure in the event of an inversion.
Harnesses must be regularly checked and replaced, if necessary, with a recommended maximum life span of five years.
Helmets which meet UIAA standards or equivalent CEN or the Australian Standards must be worn by all students and staff climbing and those who are spotting or observing from below. Caps must not be worn under helmets. Before participating in a climb or going on belay, a check should be undertaken to ensure that the students have their helmet fitted correctly.
Before the activity commences, an experienced staff member should inspect the ropes and the wall or structure.
Ropes used for climbing and abseiling on artificial structures must be rated for the intended load and style of use. These ropes must be stored in a cool, dry place free from ultraviolet light, chemical or physical hazards. The ropes should be logged and used in accordance with manufacturer recommendations and meet design standard EN 892 Mountaineering equipment - Dynamic mountaineering ropes, or similar.
Dynamic climbing ropes should be used on artificial walls and the diameter used will depend on local conditions and policy.
During an abseil session, systems which enable the arrest of an uncontrolled descent must be employed. For beginners, this must include a belayed safety rope. For more experienced abseilers, a bottom belay is acceptable.
Special climbing shoes are best for climbing on artificial walls. However, for lower-grade climbing, runners or boots are adequate.
Climbing shoes or securely fitting shoes with good grip are appropriate for abseiling. Shoes must be securely fitted to prevent them from falling off during a climb.