Always on the safe side
Even the highest-quality climbing wall will eventually show signs of wear. To make sure that walls reliably live up to their promise of providing safe fun, gym operators must ensure that they are regularly and thoroughly inspected, with the type and frequency of inspection depending on local usage and environmental conditions. Ideally an inspection plan will be prepared to define and document which components are to be checked in what manner, how often and by whom. T-Wall recommends the following maintenance intervals:
- Routine visual inspection
This should be done on an ongoing basis by climbing wall supervisors, instructors and climbers themselves. Everybody in a climbing gym should be attentive to signs of wear and help ensure that any obvious hazards such as broken or loose holds, or damaged or worn anchors are replaced as soon as the defect is identified.
- Functional inspection
Climbing walls should be thoroughly checked for stability and wear every 1 to 3 months.
- General inspection
A general inspection should be conducted by an expert every 12 months in order to verify that the wall as a whole continues to be functionally safe.
In Germany, the legal basis for these inspections is the standard EN 12572 “Artificial climbing structures”. This standard refers to the standards EN 1176-1 to 1176-7 “Playgrounds and play equipment”, which govern installation, inspection, operation and maintenance (Part 7). T-Wall is the deputy chair of the relevant European Committee for Standardisation and the only manufacturer representative in the expert committee of the German Alpine Club (DAV). In this capacity, and based not least on our 25-year track record in the construction of climbing walls, we consistently design, build and maintain our climbing walls in accordance with these standards.