Friday, 13 February 2009

Safety First

Yesterday I got to see a safety demonstration pertaining to the building industry, where some very similar questions were raised to some I had previously heard regarding rope related adventure activity. This particular demo involved scaffolding and the various safety precautions one should take when working on one. They had this stuntman (for lack of a better word) kitted out in all the prescribed safety rigging deliberately fall from the structure to exhibit how it worked, needless to say all went well and spectators were left suitably impressed.

One of the questions that came from the floor pertained to the breaking strength of the clips and ropes. The response from the safety expert lecturer was that the breaking strength of the specific rope they use, way exceeds any man’s body weight and that if something were to go wrong; it would most likely be as a result of poor rigging. In very simple terms, it could possibly come loose as a consequence of having not been tied properly; it’s not going to snap though.

It made me think of abseiling, bridge swinging, and other rope related activity like the Orlando Towers Power swing, where the truth is, the durability of the rope (or bungy cord), is virtually implausible. The reality is, it is never going snap, and those providing the activities generally prescribe to the highest safety standards.

I truly believe that there is a far stronger likelihood of something bad happening while driving a car, than there is participating in a professionally run rope or bungy associated adventure activity. Keep in mind I said professionally run, that for me is the part that counts the most. If those running the operation do not instil faith, my advice to you is to do what your gut tells you to.

Photo: Abseiling Table Mountain - ruen by Drive South Africa Courtesy of

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