People do get hurt on zip lines. If you plan to set up a zip line make sure you know what you are doing. Seek professional help from knowledgeable people in the zip line industry. Think through every possible scenario that can go wrong and take every measure possible to prevent it. Read and understand this disclaimer regarding information presented throughout this website. It is your responsibility to seek personalized instruction and ensure you understand the risks before building or riding a zip line. Here are some tips taken from a variety of sources and presented below in a condensed page for readability. However you must research applicable zip line safety independently for your project.
Create a safe play area. You can find general playground and play area safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission: USCPSC Playground Safety, and this free 57-page pdf for creating safe play areas: Handbook for Public Playground Safety
Launching or landing platforms should have guard rails. Guard rails will help reduce the potential for someone to accidentally step off or trip and fall off the platform.
Some zip lines are located in remote areas. Areas such as these are likely to have tripping hazards which are not present in daily life. Inspect the surrounding areas to ensure tripping hazards are removed.
Children should always be supervised by an adult while playing on a zip line. Adults should receive proper instruction before operating or supervising. Do not rely on information obtained on the Internet. Instruction should be personalized by competent and knowledgeable personnel who are able to give site-specific guidance and training.
Riders should wear appropriate safety gear. Some situations may reasonably require more personal safety gear than other situations. Personal safety equipment may include helmet, harness, backup lanyards, gloves, goggles, jacket, face mask and knee pads.
Provide riders instruction on how to land at the finish platform. Give the rider an orientation with a hands-on walk-through of what will happen at the landing zone when under full speed.
Before use, inspect all equipment and gear. Everything will degrade in quality and strength with time. Zip line parts and materials are subject to the elements and high stresses and must all be inspected regularly for any damage, corrosion, splitting, cracking, stretching or abrasions.
Do not operate or participate on zip lines during inclement weather. Judgment should be used on where to "draw the line" and quit.
Take safety seriously. Seek out personalized professional help if you are at all unsure of any aspect of building or operating your zip line. Reduce the potential for zip line accidents by setting up redundancy in the system and eliminate all single points of failure locations in your suspension or anchoring systems.