The standard ensures that in the event of a fall into a via ferrata set, the chance of life-threatening injuries from the braking process is small and that the set has sufficient strength.
A real fall at a via ferrata is usually not a free fall, but a fall on rocky terrain. It can be divided into three parts:
- The via ferrata user falls along the wire rope to the next anchor until the load arms of the via ferrata set are tensioned. Thereby contact with artificial climbing aids such as iron rungs, pegs, carved steps, and ladders or ledges in the fall line is possible.
- The shock absorber tears open and breaks the fall.
- The via ferrata climber hits the rock face.
If you keep this in mind, it becomes clear that a fall into a via ferrata set has a very high potential for injury. A via ferrata set should therefore always be treated as emergency equipment. Consequently, it is important not to move at the fall limit when climbing on a via ferrata and to additionally belay children or weaker persons in vertical passages with a rope to rule out a fall.