General information about the new Standard EN 958:2016 for Via Ferrata Equipment
The new, revised standard is expected to become official and legally effective from next year (2018).
Equipment in stock in stores now
which conforms to the current EN 958:2011 will be allowed to be sold or a specified period
(probably 2 years).
The new standard, EN 958:2016, will provide a significantly higher level of
safety for participants.
- A wider range of user weights
have been tested (40 kg and 120 kg)
The new standard tests 120 kg under wet
- In addition, a tensile testing of 12 kN for the entire system
will be required (EN 958:2011 currently only requires testing of 9 kN)
the first time, a tensile testing of 15 kN for the non-elastic lanyards will
also be required
- For the first time ever the new standard
requires that the wear resistance of elastic lanyards be tested too.
The last two points have been
included as necessary in response to the recalls of many via ferrata sets by
various manufacturers in 2012, caused by severe accidents.
It is apparent that the new EN
958:2016 standard will have far-reaching benefits for the consumer.
Lighter and heavier people will
be safer when participating in via ferrata climbing (as per EN 958:2016 - 40 kg
and 120 kg weights are being tested).
- The impact force may not be higher
than 3.5 kN for 40 kg and 6 kN for 120 kg .
- The maximum fall height is 5 m,
and the shock absorber cannot exceed a length of 2.2 m
We do however always recommend
belaying children in dangerous or exposed situations, and those who do not
feel safe or confident enough should always book a mountaineering guide.
The standard’s revision means
more overall safety for via ferrata climbers, and the increased safety
standards represent an adaption to the new needs and requirements of users
based on experiences with the former standard.