The safety and wellbeing of those participating in underground exploration is of paramount importance, and the BCA works hard to improve caving safety.

Equipment & Techniques

Like many things, caving is safe if done properly. The BCA works hard to research and publicise the safest equipment and techniques for use in British Caving. Some of the key outcomes of this work is:

Find out more about the work being done by the Equipment & Techniques Committee.

Rope Testing

The BCA has access to equipment to test the strength and integrity of ropes. This service may be of interest to any members wishing to better understand the integrity of their club ropes, or for research purposes to better understand the impact of various stress tests on rope integrity.

The service is free. If wishing to use this service, complete the form below, sign it and post it with the sample of your rope to the address noted on the form. Please ensure you fill in a separate form for each sample of rope and that the rope sample is clearly identified and the identifier is recorded on the form.

Rope Testing Form


Research has demonstrated that the air in most caves and mines contains varying concentrations of the radioactive gas radon (Rn) and its daughter products. This can present a health risk to cavers, and as such the BCA is invested in assessing and quantifying these risks, and developing guidelines for mitigating them. Key results of this research include:

BCA Radon Underground (3rd Edition)

  • A key document outlining all the BCA currently knows with respect to Radon underground

Find out more about the work being done by the Radon Working Group.

Weil’s Disease/Leptospirosis

The BCA’s advice on Leptospirosis can be found here. It is important that if you think you may have leptospirosis that you tell the medical professional that you are at high risk of it compared to the general population.