On Thursday, May 5th, a young man fell to the ground while climbing the Bastille Via Ferrata in Grenoble, France. According to the latest information we have, the accident appears to have been the result of a manufacturing defect of the Petzl Scorpio lanyard (a version that stopped being produced in March 2005). The defect consisted of a missing safety stitch (bar tack) on the attachment loop.
Our first thoughts are with the young man and his family, to whom we express our deepest sympathies. They can be assured that Petzl will assume its responsibilities regarding this event.
As a precautionary measure, before the conclusion of the accident analysis, we have decided to launch a voluntary product safety alert: request for inspection for a specific series of SCORPIO lanyards L60 and L60 CK, produced up to March 4th 2005, with serial numbers between 02150 and 05062. Please see our product safety alert: request for inspection notice for more details.
Over the past 40 years, Petzl has manufactured several million pieces of safety equipment. This is the first known incident in the history of Petzl where an accident may have been the result of a manufacturing defect of a commercialized Petzl product. Safety is and has always been our first and foremost concern.
As an ISO 9001 certified company, we are constantly improving our manufacturing and inspection processes in order to reduce the risk of failure, most notably those linked to potential human error. The SCORPIO lanyard has benefited from these perpetual quality improvements since the beginning of its production. All our safety products undergo a minimum of two quality control inspection phases: one during the manufacturing itself and then another independent final inspection.
You can be confident in the commitment of every Petzl employee, each of whom is truly affected by this accident, that we will redouble our efforts to continually improve the quality of our products.
Nobody can completely eliminate all risks, yet Petzl has always strived to do exactly that with regards to it’s products. Once again, we are going to carefully review our quality control procedures concerning production and safety stitching (bar tacks).
I personally promise that we will take all necessary actions to immediately ensure this type of accident does not happen again.
We ask you to accept our sincerest apologies.