For more than two centuries, workers, sportsmen, and rescuers have been challenging some of the world’s highest, steepest, and toughest rocks, ice flows, and peaks in the mountainous regions of Northern Europe. Innovative equipment has developed over time to make transiting problems safer for each man in his push to new heights on those treacherous mountains. Human safety is critical to completing the mission.
Monte Marenzo, Italy, lies on the Adda River in Northern Italy. The people of Monte Marenzo and the surrounding towns and villages have been climbing the nearby mountains almost since the beginning of time. The Adda flows out of Lake Como at Lecco 12 miles north of Monte Marenzo and became the waterpower source for manufacturing in the area. Iron ore from the surrounding mountains made it easy to fabricate metal tools and equipment for the area and eventually for the world at large.
Today, one of the most important ingredients in the financial success of a construction project is safety. No need here to explain the value of a worker’s life. One trained in the use of safety equipment can complete a risky task without injury. Many of the pieces of safety equipment so familiar to construction workers today transmigrated from steep mountains to construction sites over time.
Eko Harness
Kong S.p.A., a company in Monte Marenzo, Italy, started metal working in 1830 when Giuseppe Bonaiti opened the doors of his factory for the first time to produce snaplinks, hinges, and other small metal parts. Today, a sixth generation of the Bonaiti family runs this successful company that includes in its line of products: carabiners, safety helmets, harnesses, ascenders, descenders, and over a thousand other metal products for climbers, industrial workers, and the military under the brand name of Kong.
Most of the safety products made by Kong S.p.A., such as carabiners, ascenders, repelling rings, and harnesses, were originally designed for the local mountain climbers. These products had to be very strong but also light weight for easier carrying by climbers. Carabiners and snap hooks were forged for strength from aluminum, stainless and carbon steel. The patented locking gates on Kong carabiners are the world standard for safe and strong closure. Italian, Swiss, and French rescue teams, being exposed to the worst mountain conditions, regularly visit Kong S.p.A. to testify about the safe use of certain equipment and to suggest new tools of the trade.
Construction Carabiners
In the past 50 years, as safety regulations have developed in the construction industry, Kong S.p.A. has been called upon to manufacture certified equipment for work on height. Many tradesmen around the world look to Kong and other European safety equipment manufacturers to design personal safety equipment that meets strict standards, yet is also light weight for workers who spend every day wearing and carrying these safety pieces. ■
Note: In 2013, Kong S.p.A. opened its subsidiary Kong-USA, LLC in Bristol, Rhode Island. Kong-USA warehouses inventory in order to better serve its North American customers. The Kong-USA warehouse is also home to a training facility that can certify workers to meet OSHA 1926 subpart M requirements and other standards. Axcess Rescue, the on-site school, is run by instructors with more than 20 years of safety training. Axcess Rescue can be reached at, or by calling 207.620.6169.
About The Author:
Jack Dunn is president of Kong-USA, LLC. John J. Dunn, known as Jack, is an avid sailor and marine industry expert, with a background in construction, sales, advertising, and management, the term “Jack” of all trades is not far off. For more information, call 401.253.3759, or visit
Modern Contractor Solutions, March 2014
Did you enjoy this article?
Subscribe to the FREE Digital Edition of Modern Contractor Solutions magazine.