HSE Alert – Petzl ZigZag failure causes fall from height

UPDATE from Petzl on 2/27 – read about it here; http://dripline.net/petzl-safety-bulletin-update-maintenance-issue-not-manufacturing-defect/


A safety bulletin released on February 21st from the UK’s Arboricultural Association outlines a fall from height accident due to equipment failure.

A summary of the accident states that a tree surgeon was employed by a contractor and was carrying out tree work at Lille Barracks in Aldershot. The tree surgeon was 7.5 meters ( 25 feet ) up a tree when his Petzl ZigZag mechanical prusik ( ver. 3 ) failed causing the man to free fall for approximately 2.4 meters ( 8 feet ).

Fortunately, the man hit a branch that stopped the fall but dislodged one of his teeth. No other injuries were reported.

Initial findings have identified that the cam which can be seen in photo has a spring within it to hold it in the up position, this locks the cam against the rope but the internal spring appears to have failed so the cam does not spring up and can now be moved freely with no resistance which resulted in the rope passing through the cam and the IP free falling.

The Petzl ZigZag has been sent to the manufacturer for testing.

You can read the bulletin in its entirety here; https://www.trees.org.uk/Trees.org.uk/files/9e/9efb0352-bbba-4675-afd4-ff017bbc7c24.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3rvJv6wEhRVW0TUA-MbSAsJGItjy2kyhYd7pAw6AyWVe9am9j9HPTpops