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Recent events involving zip lines have highlighted a need for information about zip line safety.

A zip line (also known as a zip wire, flying fox, or canopy tour) consists of a pulley suspended on a cable, usually made of stainless steel, mounted on an incline. It is designed to enable a user propelled by gravity to travel from the top to the bottom of the inclined cable by holding onto, or attaching to, the freely moving pulley. Some zip lines operate as independent activities, but many are part of other adventure activities such as high wire courses, caving and canyoning activities, or canopy tours. Depending on the nature of a zip line structure, participants may be required to wear a harness and attach to the wire to avoid reliance on their ability to hold on.

A comprehensive hazard management system including hazard identification, control, and monitoring, should be applied in setting up a zip line. Where there are a series of zip lines and other activities constituting a larger adventure course, each activity should be managed both separately and as part of the whole. The cable, pulley and harness systems used on a zip line must adequately support the rider’s weight and beyond. Ensure the weight limits are known by all staff. When the system is installed, it should be securely anchored at both ends, a safety landing area should be present, and it should be equipped with a mechanism that stops the rider safely before reaching the anchoring post.

A harness should have a backup lanyard in case the primary cable fails. In the case of a zip line high above the ground, where practicable there should be more than one point of attachment and one-to-one direct supervision when the participant is attaching to the system. This photograph shows two carabiners attached to the zip line in addition to the pulley attachment, which is for transport only. All three zip line attachments connect to the participant by lanyards. 

Notification about Zip line attachment safety. Recent events involving zip lines have highlighted a need...