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OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 41 Work Requiring Rope Access

Section 849 Connecting components

In non-industrial rope access work, workers are allowed to use both locking and non-locking carabiners, appropriate for the working conditions. Non-locking carabiners are commonly used when connecting to protection during lead climbing and connecting slings to anchor systems. Locking carabiners can be self-locking and self-closing or use a locking screw-gate.

For compliance purposes, the connector must bear the mark or label of a nationally accredited testing organization such as CSA, UL, SEI, etc. as evidence that the connector meets the requirements of at least one of the listed standards. A connector bearing a CE mark is considered acceptable for the purposes of this Code as is a connector bearing the UIAA label. The CE mark – Conformite Europenne – indicates that the company manufacturing the product has met the requirements of one or more European directives. A UIAA label cannot be used unless the connector already bears a CE mark.

CEN Standard EN 12275

CEN Standard EN 12275: 1998, Mountaineering equipment – Connectors. Safety requirements and test methods, specifies safety requirements and test methods for connectors for use in mountaineering including climbing. The Standard defines “connector” as a device that can be opened, allowing a mountaineer to link himself or herself directly or indirectly to an anchor. Connectors are classified as type B (basic connector), H (HMS connector), K (Klettersteig connector), A (specific anchor connector), D (directional connector, excluding anchor connectors), Q (screwed gate connector – Quicklink), and X (oval connector). Depending on the type of connector, the minimum static strength required along the major axis of the connector with the gate closed ranges from 20 kN to 25 kN, although type X connectors require a minimum strength of 18 kN.

UIAA Standard 121

UIAA Standard 121: 2004, Mountaineering and Climbing Equipment – Connectors, requires that the connector meet all the requirements of CEN Standard EN 12275 and for type K connectors, additional strength and dimensional requirements are imposed.

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