Climber nearly killed as a result of faulty equipment (pdf)

Location: 
Ridge main
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-10-11
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A forestry climber was nearly killed as a result of equipment failure. He was at a height of 170' when he transferred from the tree he topped to another tree using his second flip line. While transferring weight from first strap to the second, the first strap failed and the climber swung into the tree he was going to. The climber had just climbed 170' on the faulty strap and it was only blind luck the strap failed while he was tied in with his other strap.
After close inspection and a detailed investigation the failed strap proved to have been improperly repaired. Even though the strap was taken to a certified place of business, the business produced an inferior product. They crimped the steel cable then crimped the nylon sheath behind the first crimp creating a stress point. The stress point between the two crimps is where the cable failed. They should have crimped the sheath over the first crimp, or used a flemish eye on the cable then crimped the sheath locking the flemish eye in place. The company is in the process of recalling all altered or repaired climbing straps as a safety precaution.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Any climber with altered climbing straps needs to complete a thorough safety check of the steel cable at the new termination point. If unsure, or if you have any questions regarding the safety of your climbing straps, remove them from service until you can acquire proper qualified assistance.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Kevin Healey 250-710-7075

File attachments
alerts-07-11-04-rope.pdf
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