Throughout its history, mountain safety has been at the forefront of the UIAA’s activities. Today it is one of the three core pillars of the federation. The UIAA Safety Label, and associated safety standards, have been in operation since the 1960s.
Today, the UIAA continues to develop and evolve international standards for climbing and mountaineering equipment and currently accredits over 2,100 safety labels to some 70 manufacturers around the world. In July 2017, the UIAA published its 23rd Standard, one dedicated to Avalanche Rescue Shovels.
As UIAA Safety Commission President Dave Custer explains, the UIAA Safety Label provides climbers and mountaineers worldwide with ‘access to a globally-recognised symbol that shows climbing equipment has been tested by a third party to show the design of equipment has performed to a baseline performance that a climber should expect of that equipment. From this, climbers can make a decision based on their own risk management preferences. Equipment standards provide one of the tools climbers need in order to make decisions about the risk they undertake when they go climbing.”
With this in mind, and supported by its Safety Commission, the UIAA offers climbers the following services through the UIAA website in tracking certified and recalled equipment as well as manufacturers and companies whose equipment has been black listed:
The Certified Equipment database is a real-time tool which comprises a public search function allowing mountaineers, climbers and all interested stakeholders to look for UIAA Safety Label certified products available in the market across all accredited brands and manufacturers. This helps provide an extra guarantee that a piece of equipment bearing the UIAA Safety Label is properly, and fully, accredited. Click here for further details.
The Recalls database is updated in collaboration with UIAA Safety Label holders. A recall is a request to return to the manufacturer a batch or an entire production run of a product, usually due to the discovery of safety issues. The UIAA endeavors to maintain a listing of recalled climbing equipment including partial recalls as well as appeals for checking equipment. Click here for further details.
The Black List function provides climbers and mountaineers with information about companies and manufacturers who are misusing the UIAA Safety Label. The UIAA Safety label logo and acronym “UIAA” is a registered trademark with the World International Property Organisation in accordance with the Madrid Protocol. The UIAA takes any misuse of the Safety Label, and its consequences for climbers and mountaineers buying such equipment, very seriously. The Black List is currently being developed into a more sophisticated database tool. Click here for details of current black list offenders.