New Via Ferrata Standards
25th November 2017
New Via Ferrata standards
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 conditions
- 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)
- For 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.