Doing sports with standards throughout the year
Playing football, skiing, paragliding: There are many options for leading an active life. Regardless of the sports you favour, your safety is ensured by diverse standards.
ÖNORM EN ISO 4210-2, for example, defines safety requirements for bicycles and if you prefer to cruise on inline skates, ÖNORM EN 13843 looks after your safety. In skateboarding, too, standards play an important role.
If you venture off the roads and up into the mountains, you need to take care after a long winter’s rest not to overreach when you go climbing. Mountain guides recommend shorter hikes on less steep trails for a start.
Apart from your own fitness and experience, proper equipment is crucial for ensuring safety in the mountains. There are standards that make sure that mountaineers can rely on harnesses, crampons and rock anchors.
A bird’s-eye view
When people are high up on a mountain, many would like to be able to fly. This is possible with paragliders. You launch from the peak and glide with the wind.
To make this sport as safe as possible, ÖNORM EN 1651 lays down requirements for the strength of the harness. The structural strength and flight safety characteristics of paragliders are defined in ÖNORM EN 926 and the strength of emergency parachutes in ÖNORM EN 12491.
On sport grounds
Standards also raise safety for ball sports. This is true for your tennis match on the weekend or the football pitch where you play after work.
Have you ever wondered why the goals have the same height and width on all pitches? Are there ÖNORM standards for shin guards and the gloves worn by goalkeepers? The answer is: Yes, there are. Good gloves comply with ÖNORM EN 16027. Without good gloves even the best keeper could hardly grip the ball.
Likewise, standards provide for non-slip surfaces of tennis courts and the sward height of football pitches. When you chase the ball, ÖNORM EN 14952 specifies, for example, the water absorption of surfaces for sports areas. ÖNORM EN 14953 describes two methods for determining the thickness of granular materials within a structure.
Further standards on sports surfaces are ÖNORM EN 14954 on how to determine the hardness of natural turf and unbound mineral surfaces and ÖNORM EN 14955 on how to determine the particle shape of unbound mineral surfaces.
ÖNORM EN 14956 governs the water content of unbound mineral surfaces. The method for determining the resistance to wear of outdoor sports surfaces is laid down in ÖNORM EN 15306, while the requirements for synthetic turf primarily designed for outdoor use are defined in ÖNORM EN 15330.
Not only on land, but also in the deep blue sea, standards guarantee quality and safety. More and more people book scuba diving courses online in other countries. Nowadays, Egypt and Greece – two destinations popular among divers – license scuba schools and diving centres only if they are certified according to the relevant International or European Standards.
"Those who register for a diving course enter into a contract with an instructor or school – and the ‘students’ should have accurate information on what the ‘instructor’ or ‘school’ offers or must offer," says Martin Denison, an Austrian diving experts with British roots.
Thus, the two parts of ÖNORM EN ISO 24802 specify the minimum safety requirements for the training of scuba instructors. The requirements for recreational scuba diving service providers are set out in ÖNORM EN ISO 24803.
Ready for winter
When winter comes, many Austrians head to the skiing slopes. Standards make sure that equipment guarantees optimum safety and protection. Ski boots must have a both firm and comfortable fit as pinching or chafing boots spoil the fun of skiing and constitute a major safety risk. ÖNORM ISO 5355 defines requirements and test methods for alpine ski boots. The safety of bindings is ensured by the standards ÖNORM ISO 8061, ÖNORM ISO 8364, ÖNORM ISO 9462, ÖNORM ISO 9465 and ÖNORM ISO 11087.
No matter whether you take the ski tow at the "nursery slope", the chairlift to the next lodge or the gondola lift to the highest peak, the reliability and safety of these installations is ensured by a series of standards. ÖNORM EN 1709 specifies requirements for pre-commissioning inspections, maintenance and operational inspections for cableways, while ÖNORM EN 12397 contains safety requirements for the operation of passenger cableways.
Signs, snow groomers and snow-makers – standards ensure high quality and safety everywhere. Now you only need proper, standardized sportswear, including a helmet in line with ÖNORM EN 1077, and you are ready to go.
A safe ride on your mountain bike
When winter is over and the days get longer again, anticipation is building for the first ride on your mountain bike (MTB). Just as numerous standards ensure that winter sports enthusiasts can enjoy the snow confidently and safely, ÖNORM S 4750 takes care of the quality and safety of mountain biking infrastructure.
In tourism, trail centres, bike parks and pump tracks are becoming a more and more important source of income. As a result of their growing popularity, facilities for mountain bikers increase year by year. From the Vienna Woods to the Mariazell region, from Alpine valleys in the Tyrol to Salzkammergut, there are numerous trails for passionate mountain bikers in Austria.
Each new trail, however, should guarantee smart management, respect for nature as well as safety and high quality while maximizing the fun of mountain biking. ÖNORM S 4750 provides the operators of MTB trails with the information required for planning, implementation and operation.