For the first time since 1996, the UIAA Safety Commission met in the UK, hosted by the BMC. The Commission meeting, which ran from the 4th - 6th June in Bristol, worked both on new safety standards for mountaineering equipment and revisions to the existing UIAA Safety Labels.
UIAA Safety Commission
The UIAA Safety Commission is an international body consisting of technical experts from mountaineering federations such as the BMC, and trade members from equipment manufacturers and test houses. The Bristol meeting was attended by 7 national delegates plus one guest, and by many trade members including delegates from DMM, Lyon Equipment and Wild Country.
The commission meeting was hosted this year by the BMC and organised by Rob Foster, the BMC representative at the Safety Commission. BMC President Scott Titt was invited to attend the Commission dinner.
New and existing standards
As well as the revisions to existing UIAA Safety Labels, work has been progressing on new standards for equipment including bouldering mats, avalanche airbags, and dynamic belay lanyards. Construction standards for via ferrata installations are another recent work area.
A major investment has been made on corrosion research as part of the work on bolt anchor classification. When complete this will provide a rigorous standard for ensuring long lasting and appropriate anchor materials and design for different environments.
Professor Bill Stronge of the BMC Technical Committee presented a research paper to the meeting, on 'Effectiveness of mountaineering manual belay and abseil devices'.
The day after the meeting, BMC SW area activists treated some of the commission members to a taste of some of the excellent climbing on offer in the Bristol area.
A big thanks from the BMC to Rob for organising the event, to Bill for agreeing to present his paper, and to the SW area for kindly taking our guests climbing afterwards.
For more info on the work of the UIAA Safety Commission click here.
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