Autobelay device: Westway Incident

Posted by Dan Middleton, BMC Technical Officer on 29/11/2007

On 15th January 2007, at the Westway Climbing Centre, a climber fell to the ground whilst using a Redpoint autobelay device.

Autobelay devices are a self-belay system allowing individuals to climb without a partner. Mounted at the top of the climbing wall, they allow a smooth controlled descent.
 
As far as can be established, the device was being used correctly at the time of the incident.
 
Subsequent investigation by the HSE and by Entre-Prises (UK distributor for Redpoint devices) could find no fault with the device. In tests, the device worked correctly.
 
At this stage, the device has been sent to the manufacturer in the US for further inspection. If any further information is obtained from this, this report will be updated.
 
No other failures of Redpoint devices have been reported in the UK, and they continue to be widely used. Climbers using these devices are advised to always follow the user instructions supplied at the climbing wall.

For further information please contact  BMC Technical Officer dan@thebmc.co.uk
 


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