Tight wires, particularly low ones, are not especially dangerous if they are used sensibly … BUT THERE IS A KNOWN RISK.

By far the most common injury that I have witnessed when people are walking tight wires are those caused by falling onto the walking wire.

Generally, when you lose your balance on a tight wire, you fall to one side or the other, normally resulting in landing on the feet, or occasionally by rolling away from the wire. This is not a significant risk to anyone fit enough to be on the wire in the first place.

Collisions with the wire are much more serious, since they can and do result in serious abrasions. The risks are somewhat increased for men managing to fall either side of the wire. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should trainee wire walkers EVER allow their ankle to roll whilst walking the wire. The foot must ALWAYS face the wire horizontally. Slipping from the wire, by allowing the sole of the foot to roll and slide off, will very frequently result in injury, and happens so quickly that even a very alert and adjacent spotter will have little chance of preventing a collision.

If in ANY doubt, USE A LUNGE or other device for preventing a fall of more than a very few inches.

Pardon me for all the SHOUTING, but it’s a serious point. I don’t have any photographic evidence of the kinds of bruises and scabs you can get, and I hope to Hell I never get the opportunity to. Look after yourselves, people.

Leave a Reply