When you or your children want to engage in other recreational activities, climbing walls beckon as a form of trying something new. Now popular at gyms nationwide, climbing walls give us a chance to use different muscles and conquer our fears in a safe environment. And, not to be outdone, zip lines are finding their place in recreation venues and other locations, as well. While activities like climbing walls and zip lines do not always take place at amusement parks, it’s important to be aware of injuries and accidents that can occur when taking part.
According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System of the Consumer Safety Product Commission, the number of climbing walls injuries is nearing 3,000. Many of the deaths come from falls when people are 25 or more feet above the ground. Ideally, the participant is tethered to a rope that provides a tight pull so that there is no slack on the rope. In a recent case in Texas, a 52-year-old fell to her death from an improperly tethered rope. She was a seasoned climber. And, many zip line accidents are caused by human error, as well, in the forms of people not paying attention or not releasing from a platform when they are supposed to, not gaining enough speed, or not meeting the weight limit. Although rock wall climbing and zip lining are a form of recreation, they do not fall within the same guidelines as many amusement parks. The classification sets them apart and they are not regulated in the same way.
When you are at a facility that offers climbing walls or zip lining, what are some things you can do to protect yourself?
- Engage in the short (or long) lesson that the instructor has to offer to you before you take to the ropes on your own.
- Ask any questions at any time; instructors who are dismissive or non-engaging may be a cause for alarm.
- Ask how long the facility has operated climbing walls or zip lines.
- Ask about the harness features: are the harnesses old or new? Ask for a full demonstration.
- Ask about any emergency procedures or protocol. What is done in the case of an emergency. Have they had any accidents at the facility in the past?
Zip lining and climbing walls test our strength and our dexterity, as well as provide a form of excitement in a very safe environment. If you have been injured in a zip line or climbing wall accident, you have a personal injury case on your hands, possibly to include a premises liability issue, as well. Enlist the assistance of a law firm who can handle your personal injury case with confidence and ease.