Chain of Custody

How do I know if I should quarantine a piece of equipment using the "Chain of Custody Procedure"? 

  • Incident is obviously equipment related such as a rope or harness breaking and causing a fall.
  •  A customer is involved in an incident and says that it is because of the equipment.
  • An incident occurs and you can see visual signs of damage to equipment.
  • An incident occurs and you merely suspect equipment involvement
  • A major incident occurs, such as a ground fall.
  • Any time you have to close a line due to an incident.

What do I do after you have decided to quarantine equipment using the "Chain of Custody Procedure".


  • Remove ALL involved equipment from line. This might mean pulling a rope and having a line without a rope. 
  • To the best of you ability, Do not modify the equipment in any way. Such at removing grigris from ropes, uniting stopper knots. For example: An incident occurs on a top rope, simply untie the figure 8 and pull on the grigri side of the rope to pull the rope through the belay bar.
  • Take Lots of pictures of the equipment, get up nice and close so you can see specific details in the images such as serial numbers or other identifying markings intentional or unintentional such as wear and scratches.
  • Place undisturbed equipment in the "Equipment Quarentine" box in the electrical room. Seal the box with tape, write the date, "Incident: (Name of person involved)", your full name, and your signature on the tape that seals the box.
  • Leave the box locked in the electrical room.
  • Fill out both a paper and electronic incident reporting form and/or First Aid form.
  • Do not speak with the person(s) involved in the incident about whether or not you think the equipment was involved in the incident simply say "Equipment quarantine is part of our standard operating procedure."
  • Equipment quarantined using the "Chain of Custody Procedure" Must be looked at by 2 of the designated Equipment management safety staff (Kenneth, Drew, Mario, Bernard, Harrison) before being put back into service or retired following a discussion as to whether or not this equipment should be archived for future legal reasons. 


Now that all of this is dealt with what do I do?

Talk about the incident with some one and make sure you take care of your mental health.