The UIAA Safety label or the acronym ‘UIAA’ can be found on climbing and mountaineering gear worldwide. These four letters signify that this piece of climbing equipment has been accredited to meet the UIAA – International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation’s – global safety standards.
The UIAA Safety Commission (SafeCom), responsible for the development of UIAA Safety Standards for over 25 types of climbing gear, has recently produced an animation explaining both the importance of the UIAA Safety Label and how the process of accrediting a piece of equipment actually works.
“We felt it was the perfect time to reiterate the importance of the UIAA Safety Label,” explains current SafeCom President Lionel Kiener. “Today, with online shopping, climbers face a wealth of choice when searching for gear. However a lot of this equipment has not been accredited to international standards and tested to the stringent methods that the UIAA applies. Furthermore, there is a wealth of counterfeit products on the market. Especially for the younger generation getting this message across is crucial.” The UIAA has also produced an article providing advice for when buying equipment online.
As former UIAA SafeCom President Dave Custer, a key part of the animation project, explains: “The UIAA Safety Label is a globally recognised symbol that shows climbing equipment has been tested by an accredited laboratory to verify that the design of equipment has performed to a level that a climber should expect of that equipment. From this, climbers can make a decision based on their own risk management preference.”
Climbers can search for certified equipment (gear with the UIAA Safety Label) through the UIAA’s dedicated database (over 2,500 certificates currently granted) and also view a list of accredited Safety Label holders, over 70 manufacturers and brands worldwide. Another database identifies certified equipment which has either been recalled or has a recent safety warning.
Furthermore, purchase of climbing equipment bearing the UIAA Safety Label supports the UIAA and its global mission to support and promote climbing and mountaineering.
Discovery more about the UIAA & climber safety here.