Date of Incident

06/02/2020

Country

England

Area

Route

Incident

Registered Climber using autobelays for a couple hours, received a full induction to check competency and signed a registration form and autobelay disclaimer. Informed consent via these forms, inductions and observations showed that climber was aware of the dangers of using an auto belay system. At a later occasion, climber forgot to clip themselves into the auto belay system and climbed to the top of the wall. She them jumped back and fell from 8m (not directly observed by me, but observed by other climbers in the centre). Treated as suspected spinal injury and first aid was in place while emergency services were on the way. Climber was conscious and aware of what happened, very responsive. Contacted climber after accident and was informed that there were no serious injuries, only bruising and was checked out of hospital the same evening.

Lessons

Often with these types of accidents, the climbers have no coping strategies or systems in place such as pre-climb checks that would have prevented the injury. Although an induction was performed to check that the climber was competent, and pre-climb checks were discussed and shown, the climber forgot to carry out these checks before climbing. Although auto-belay gates were in place, this does not always prevent these sort of accidents. A larger auto-belay gate will be put in place and auto-belay inductions with competent climbers will remain in place. Unfortunately these accidents are still occurring in the UK even though best current practice is in place. This accident will be reviewed by our technical advisor to see if any other measures can be put in place.

Activity

Indoor climbing

When

Injury

Minor injury, Treated as suspected spinal. Casualty checked out of hospital same evening with no injuries apart from bruising.

Causes

Belaying failure or error, Human Error and a lack of pre-climb checks

Anonymous?

Yes

Reported By

Observer

Wearing Helmets?

Rescue Services Involved?

Ambulance

For more advice and guidance on good practices visit BMC skills

All reports are self-submitted and have not been edited by the BMC in any way, so please keep an open mind regarding the lessons and causes of each incident or near-miss.