Incident in Salmisaari, Finland Final Report

Following the event on the 21st January in Salmisaari Climbing Arena in Helsinki, when the fall of a climber was not completely prevented by the Onbelay device, Safety Engineering has conducted a thorough investigation. Its findings are listed below.

The Onbelay system is double redundant with two independent hydraulic pistons. The first hydraulic piston has stopped working properly enough in an unknown moment of the past, because of a foreign particle jammed in its pressure regulating valve. The second piston continued working. The reason why the second piston eventually broke is that it suffered systematical and unusually increased stress due to the fact it was the only one working, presumably for a long time.

The Onbelay in the Salmisaari Climbing Arena has been in continuous operation for 9,5 years. Following the incident, Safety Engineering has decided to convey additional maintenance on all devices of similar age, or manufactured up until 2012. Furthermore, the manufacturer will retrofit all older devices with the latest type of pressure regulating valves. All devices will be serviced by certified technicians.

Strictly abiding to maintenance procedures is of paramount importance when working with any safety device. Following this case Safety Engineering has decided to impose stricter measures and requirements for maintenance and handling of the devices it manufactures. Therefore, from now on, the Yearly Checks and Maintenance of all Safety Engineering devices will only be performed by its qualified personnel.

Salmisaari Climbing Arena will continue using the Onbelay devices only after the additional maintenance of the older devices has been performed by Safety Engineering. Following this unfortunate occurrence, Safety Engineering and Salmisaari Climbing Arena continue to work harder keeping their focus on providing a safe and enjoyable climbing experience

Incident in Salmisaari, Finland

We were informed that on the 21st January in Salmisaari Climbing Arena in Helsinki there was an incident involving one of the Onbelay devices, a product by Safety Engineering. According to the information we’ve received, the fall of a climber was not completely prevented by the Onbelay device. The update from the facility owner states that the climber suffered no considerable injuries and walked out after the incident.

The device has been in continuous operation for about 10 years since its installation in 2010. Upon receiving the news, Safety Engineering has immediately started internal investigation and sent a crew of engineers on-site.

We are using this case to stress on the fact that the risk of fall when climbing cannot be completely eliminated. Based on our estimation Onbelay devices have made over 192 000 000 safe descents before this occurrence. The incidents that happen due to manual belaying are far more frequent. The only way to save people in cases of any belay failure is to have coverage of the whole safety zone with thick enough safety mats.

We will be issuing an update on the investigation in the following days.

Self Belay Warranty Update

Three years ago Safety Engineering designed and launched the Self Belay connector to meet two main concerns of any operator of harnessed activities using autobelay devices- increase safety measures and decrease cost of operations.

To date, the Self Belay is the leading device of this type and we are confident it fulfills those purposes. It is also patented in the USA, EU and Russia.

As a very new type of product on the market, though, there's something we missed and that is giving explicit instructions on actions upon warranty expiration. After having accumulated much more experience with the Self Belay device, we highly recommend treating the connector the way autobelays are treated - perform yearly inspection.

That is why we launch an annual renewal program for all Self Belays. One month before the expiry of the 12 months warranty of the device, the client is encouraged to inform Safety Engineering about his/her desire to join the program. Safety Engineering will then send over new or refurbished devices with renewed 1-year warranty for the cost of 80 EUR per device. The client will then have a week of receiving the new or refurbished devices to send back the old ones. Thus the program will not interfere with the clients operations, the client will be certain that the devices in operation are under warranty and in case there is a technical upgrade of the device, the client will receive new ones at no additional cost. Devices which are not checked and serviced by Safety Engineering after one year of use are not under warranty and Safety Engineering will not bear any responsibility for their condition and functionality.

In summary:

1. You purchase a Self Belay at the price of 400 EUR with one-year warranty.
2. A month before one year from the date you have received the device, you file a request for extended warranty and pay 80 EUR per device.
3. SE sends you a set of serviced or new devices with additional one-year warranty.
4. You send us back the used Self Belays within a week after receiving the refurbished/new ones.
5. The devices should be packed in their original boxes or if not - in a proper way so they do not touch or hit each other and the packaging is a hard box. Bags or soft boxes will not be accepted.

For any questions, please contact us at or