Depending on which beach you are on, climbing on rocks at the beach can present you with a whole range of different hazards:
- Rock fall
On some beaches, the area below cliffs may present a risk of being injured by falling rocks, especially during wet weather or after particularly heavy showers.
- Wet rocks
When rocks are wet and/or interspersed with damp pieces of wood, slip injuries are another common risk when climbing rocks near beaches. Loose scree or gravel on top of weather-worn, smooth rock formations may also cause injuries by slipping.
- Uneven ground
Loose collections of boulders, bits of wood and other bits and pieces may also present climbers with the risk of injury by tripping and falling.
- Dangerous cliffs
Unless adequate safety precautions are taken, climbers may suffer injuries by falling from height. The cliffs in some regions in particular have dangerously loose edges. Getting too close to such edges could result in the ground giving way and causing a fall from height.
When approaching rocks to be climbed from below, climbers could, especially when the weather is generally cold and wet, also become trapped in mud.
- Fossils, chert and flint
Large areas of the British coast are a paradise for fossil collectors. Unfortunately, lifting large rock specimens, ammonites and so on, could easily result in back injuries or hernias. Hammering chert or flint could cause cuts, lacerations and eye injuries due to large splinters shearing off.
Although comparatively rare, climbers occasionally also face the risk of being bitten by adders. Such incidents can, however, be prevented by wearing high boots or other protective foot and leg wear when climbing in areas known to host adders.
- Old mines and shells
On some beaches, mines and old shells are also hazard, leaving climbers at the risk of potentially serious, if not fatal injuries by explosions.
The vast majority of rock climbing accidents can be prevented by taking a few simple safety precautions; generally being responsible and listening to locals with regards to potential danger spots and weather warnings, for example.
Having survived a day’s climbing, you may well want to go out for a nice meal or an evening beverage. Here, too, you may encounter slip, trip or fall hazards, although restaurant and pub owners are required to prevent slips, trips and falls on their premises.
Should you be injured by slipping or tripping in such an establishment, contact Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 to see whether you may qualify for personal injury compensation.
Date Published: April 27, 2015
Author: Accident Advice