Conforming is not often seen as cool, but when it comes to safety standards, conformity is the way to be. As makers of adventure products for activities that hold inherent risk, we work to abide by all the safety standards that are applicable to our products. Our TRUBLUE auto belay, for example, meets the strictest safety standards of all auto belays on the market, and that's just the way we like it.
Safety standards are a maze of international acronyms and numbers, all relating to specific industries standards that may or may not be based on law and may or may not require independent testing. Some standards are more like recommendations while some standards are independently validated and have serious business implications. Confused yet? Let's work out the important details together.
Safety Standards: What You Need to Know
While we abide by all applicable safety standards for our devices, there are a few standards that stick out as especially important. For our TRUBLUE auto belays, one of the most important standards is one set forth by the European Union (EN 341) that describes requirements for equipment used to protect against falls from heights. It's a European standard that allows us to be CE certified (stands for Conformité Européenne) meaning European Conformity), which is an important measure of safety around the world.
To comply with EN 341, we must have our manufacturing processes and documentation audited and reviewed regularly. Additionally, we send one of our auto belays from the manufacturing line to be inspected yearly (or every 2,000 units, whichever comes first) by an independent, certified testing lab to make sure the devices meet the safety standard requirements. It's a very thorough process, and complying with this European standard is important because it allows our products to be CE certified and have the CE marking on our products. The CE marking is the most widely recognized and valued safety certifications. Itâ€™s the club that all the cool safety kids want to conform to and be a part of.
Our TRUBLUE auto belay also meets the requirements of the American National Standard for personal fall arrest systems (ANSI/ASSE Z359.1-2007, section 6.1.1). In addition to regular inspections by the user, this safety standard requires annual service of the devices by a "competent person"(aka a Head Rush authorized service center). This is the official standard, but there are also numerous benefits of a yearly service process.
Our QUICKjump and FlightLine free fall devices are unique attractions that can be used at amusement parks, ropes courses, or as stand-alone attractions, and they meet the requirements set forth by ASTM International for amusement rides (ASTM F2291-11). The zipSTOP zip line brake also abides by ASTM standards for amusement rides, though it is unique in that it's one component of a larger zip line ride.
Acronyms and numbers aside, all of our devices have been designed and engineered to meet all the applicable safety standards and international criteria. Our TRUBLUE auto belay meets the strictest safety standards of all auto belays on the market, and our free fall devices are made to meet the applicable standards and then some.
Millions of Cycles
Actions speak louder than words, and in the case of our devices, the notable number of total cycles completed says the most. Each time someone lowers off a TRUBLUE or ends a zip line experience with the zipSTOP brake we notch another cycle completed by our eddy current magnetic braking technology. Even on TRUBLUE alone an astounding number of cycles have been successfully and safely completed worldwide.
TRUBLUEs are currently in use in many, many countries across the globe. Let's make a conservative estimate and say that each TRUBLUE sees 20 cycles a day. With so many TRUBLUEs in the world and an estimated 20 cycles per day over the course of a year, we are looking at approximately 100 million cycles on our auto belays each year! This track record is just one of the reasons we are the most trusted auto belay on the market today.
Conforming is Cool
We design and engineer unique solutions and adventure products for the recreational industry, but when it comes to safety standards, conforming is cool. These standards are created to assure quality and to hold everyone accountable to the same rules. It's the one area where we do not want to stand out (except for meeting the strictest standards). Our devices meet all applicable safety standards, but our track record speaks loudest. Millions and millions of cycles are completed on our devices each year in climbing gyms, at ropes courses, at adventure parks, FECs, and more. With a continued focus on quality engineering (and teamwork from operators to ensure proper maintenance, inspections, and use), we look forward to the day when we can celebrate the one-billionth cycle on a Head Rush device.
Check out the other part of this series: