Zip-lining is an extremely popular attraction that is done as recreation throughout the world. Zip-lines are also known by various names such as zip wires, rope slides, aerial runways, canopy, flying fox, and death slides. This recreation is a transportation system that consists of a steel cable, stretched on an incline between two different points of elevation. The person who is traveling does so by gravity and is attached to the line by a harness, pulley or a bar.
Zip lines have been around for years. They were originally developed as an easy way to access remote areas such as mountain terrain, forests, as well as to cross rivers. The newer use is for entertainment such as adventure on vacations, hiking areas in parks, amusement parks, festivals, fundraisers, team-building exercises and now they are currently at private residences. They are so popular that they are now sold in a kit for private use. The kit consists of the cable, pulley, installation equipment (bolts, eyebolts, swivels, cable tensioners, cable clamps, braking device, cable slings, etc), handlebars, harnesses, and other accessories.
Despite possible risks, zip-lining still continues to rise in popularity. While accidents involving zip lines are low, in comparison to their use, the consequences of accidents are very high, so safe operation and caution is extremely important. It is necessary to take safety precautions such as; making sure zip-lines are installed professionally and operated by trained personnel. Residential usage of zip-lines results in a higher percentage of accidents because they usually are not properly installed and are used by anybody. Residential zip-lines usually consists of short runs and are close to ground level.
Of course, speed must be controlled, equipment should be checked regularly, persons should be supervised by professional zip-line operators, and should be a proper clearance so that hands, clothing or hair doesn’t become tangled. Also, launch points and stopping points need to be properly supported. The following proper safety equipment that needs to be worn are lanyards or harnesses, goggles, thick leather gloves (for emergency braking), helmets, masks, and knee pads. Zip-line cables need to be adequate, have a proper incline, be properly tensioned and that the right attachment and anchor points are used and there needs to be enough space for installation, which means that the site needs to be free of obstacles. Last but not least, maintenance is very important. Zip-line owners must have their installation and gear inspected carefully and regularly.
Zip-lining can be loads of fun with a huge rush of adrenaline! Unfortunately, accidents can happen at the most unexpected times, so make sure you are following good safety policies and precautions and you will have a great time!
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