Sep 022011
 

Attention Rescuers!! There has been a widespread voluntary recall affecting a very popular belay device sold throughout Canada and the US. There are some 20,000 units affected!!

Please feel free to pass this email on to anybody else responsible for safety/rescue gear.

The recall is as follows….

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: GRIGRI 2 belay device with assisted braking

Units: About 18,000 in the United States and about 2,000 in Canada

Importer: Petzl America Inc., of Clearfield, Utah

Manufacturer: Petzl SAS, of Crolles, France

Hazard: Excessive force on the handle can cause it to become stuck in the open position. When stuck open, the assisted braking function is disabled, posing a fall hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Seven devices worldwide, including one in the U.S., were returned after the users noticed that the handle could become stuck in the open position. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The GRIGRI 2 belay device is used by rock climbers to control the climber’s safety rope during a fall or while being lowered on the rope. The first five digits of the serial numbers of devices affected by this recall range from 10326 to 11136. The serial number is engraved on the body of the product underneath and protected by the folded handle. The belay devices are 4 inches in length and 2 inches in width, and come in grey, blue, and orange colors.

Sold at: Sports and recreation stores in the U.S. and Canada from February 2011 to June 2011 for about $95.

Manufactured in: France

Remedy: Consumers should stop use of the affected GRIGRI 2s immediately, and contact Petzl America for a replacement.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Petzl America at (800) 932-2978 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. MT Monday through Friday or visit http://www.petzl.com/us/outdoor/us/recall-replacement-grigri-2

Note: Health Canada’s press release is available at http://cpsr-rspc.hc-sc.gc.ca/PR-RP/recall-retrait-eng.jsp?re_id=1397

Aug 012011
 

Two companies have been fined a total of £640,000 following the death of two fish farm workers on a barge moored at a salmon farm on Loch Creran, Argyll & Bute.

Scottish Sea Farms worker, Campbell Files and engineer Arthur Raikes – employed by Logan Inglis Limited, Cumbernauld – were fixing a hydraulic crane on the barge when they went below deck to find cabling and pipework.

The oxygen levels below deck were very low and Mr Files passed out while Mr Raikes managed to climb back out. In an attempt to rescue Mr Files, two colleagues, Maarten Den Heijer and Robert MacDonald entered the small chamber below deck but lost consciousness almost immediately.

The three men needed to be rescued by emergency services but only Mr Files recovered, while his colleagues died at the scene.

Following the incident on 11 May 2009, inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered Scottish Sea Farms had not provided suitable information, instruction and training for employees working in the small sealed chambers on the Loch Creran barge or a safe way for them to work.

Logan Inglis Limited had not provided information, instruction or training for their engineers on working in these confined spaces so Mr Raikes was also not aware of the risks he faced on the barge.

Neither company had identified the risk to their respective employees from working in the confined space chambers.

At Oban Sheriff Court today (4 July) Scottish Sea Farms, was fined £600,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Logan Inglis Limited of 14 Dunswood Road, Wardpark South, also pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £40,000.

Commenting at the conclusion of the case HSE Principal Inspector Barry Baker said:

“These two men were trying to help save their colleague’s life when they tragically lost their own. Aquaculture is an important industry in Scotland and one that we can be very proud of; however we must not forget that the marine environment is dangerous and unforgiving.

“Since September 2007 the Marine Accident Investigation Branch has started three investigations into incidents in which a total of six seafarers have died in confined spaces.

“The deaths in this case should have been avoided – the risks should have been identified and a clear and safe system of work prepared. Only those fully trained in confined space work and emergency rescue should have carried out the work in the chamber, and only after a full risk assessment including air monitoring and testing for oxygen levels.”