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Attention : this information replaces the previous communication concerning a via ferrata accident linked to a SCORPIO lanyard published on May 13, 2011.

Review of the facts

On May 13, 2011, we announced via our website and through various press outlets that a young man fell to the ground while climbing the Bastille Via Ferrata in Grenoble, France on Thursday, May 5, 2011. According to the latest information we have, the accident appears to have been the result of a manufacturing defect of the Petzl SCORPIO lanyard. The defect consisted of a missing safety stitch (bar tack) on the attachment loop.

Our thoughts are with this young man and his family and we hope for his quick and full recovery.

This accident, the first in the history of Petzl, lead us on May 13 to launch a voluntary product safety alert to inspect SCORPIO via ferrata lanyards (L60 and L60 CK) manufactured before March 2005.

Update to the situation as of 19.05.2011

Based on further investigations of our manufacturing process of tearing webbing energy absorbing systems and information recently received, we have extended the previous safety alert to now include all SCORPIO and ABSORBICA products. Our analysis shows that the manufacturing process specific to these tearing webbing energy absorbers has a weakness which could explain the defect leading to the cause of this accident.

Even though the probability of further defects remains low, we have decided to take the following actions as a result of this new information:

  1. Stop production of all absorbers and lanyards using tearing webbing energy absorption systems, until all corrective actions are in place.
    This includes the following products:
    - SCORPIO via ferrata lanyards,
    - ABSORBICA energy absorbers with or without a lanyard for professional workers at height.
     
  2. Stop sales of all unsold product and verify and mark accordingly all SCORPIO and ABSORBICA products before resuming sales.
     
  3. Issue an extension of the product safety alert from just the SCORPIO L60 and L60 CK to all SCORPIO via
    ferrata lanyards manufactured before May 19, 2011
    (see our product safety alert for SCORPIO) :
    - blue and yellow models, references: L60 and L60 CK.
    - red and grey models, references: L60 2, L60 2CK, L60 H, L60 WL, K29VF 1, K29VF 2, K29VE 1, K29VE 2, K29V 1, K29V 2.
    Concerns all SCORPIO products up to serial number : 11137****.
     
  4. Issue a request for immediate self-inspection for all ABSORBICA energy absorbers used by professional workers at height using the existing procedures for PPE inspection (see our product safety alert for ABSORBICA).
    References : L57, L58, L58 MGO, L59, L59 MGO, L59 69, L70150 I, L70150 IM, L70150 Y, L70150 YM, L70120 YG
    Concerns all ABSORBICA products up to serial number : 11137****

We are clearly aware of the problems caused by these actions and we ask you all to accept our apologies for this inconvenience. The security of our customers is our greatest priority and we will not restart production until we are completely convinced we have eliminated any weaknesses in our production processes. The entire company is focused on resolving this issue as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Romain Lécot
General Director