Photo Credits

Rappelling Out of a Storm

A climber rappels through fresh snowfall in the Dolomite range of Trentino, Italy.

Image © Roberto Caucino :

Petzl Scorpio Recall EXPANDED

Petzl has significantly expanded the safety alert (now upgraded to a "recall alert") for inspection of Scorpio Via Ferrata Lanyards. The alert now covers all lanyards manufactured up to May 19th, 2011 up through serial number 11137**** (the original recall only covered products up through March 4, 2005). Petzl's states "Our internal investigation and analysis of our manufacturing procedures specific to the production of tear webbing energy absorbers has identified a weakness which could explain the defect leading to the cause of this accident."

These lanyards are used for personal safety on "via ferratas," or mountain routes with fixed safety cables and other climbing aids. Via ferratas are common in Europe, though a few exist in the U.S. and Canada.

Petzl has also issued a "Request for Immediate Self-Inspection" [update: as of July 12th, this is a formal recall] for the Absorbica Energy Absorber, a related product used by workers at height (typically in industrial or construction settings). More information on the Absorbica inspection request is here.

As this is an evolving situation, we are linking to the Petzl website for their notice and description of the steps to take if you own one of the Scorpio Lanyards.

Petzl's ORIGINAL safety alert (This has been superseeded by the newer notice described above):


Affecting all lanyards produced before March 4, 2005 with individual product identification numbers 02150 to 05062. (IMPORTANT NOTE: This recall has been expanded to all Scorpio Lanyards manufactured up to May 19th, 2011, see details of the newer notice above.)

We were recently notified that a SCORPIO L60 lanyard was involved in a via ferrata accident which occurred on May 5th, 2011 in Grenoble, France (more information). According to the information we have as of today, our analysis shows an absence of one of the safety stitching (bar tacks) of the energy absorbing system. This safety stitching (bar tacks) can only be seen if the energy absorber is removed from its protective pouch. Petzl will assume its responsibilities for this event and commits to immediately taking all necessary actions to ensure this type of accident does not happen again.

As a precautionary measure, Petzl has voluntarily decided to issue a product safety alert: request for inspection for the SCORPIO lanyards L60 and L60 CK manufactured before March 4, 2005 with individual product identification numbers between 02150 and 05062 for immediate inspection by Petzl and for return of those that pass inspection as rapidly as possible.

Petzl Scorpio Identification Number

Petzl Scorpio Stitching













If you have one of these SCORPIO L60 and L60 CK via ferrata lanyards manufactured before March 4, 2005 with individual product identification numbers between 02150 and 05062, we [Petzl] ask you to:

  • immediately stop using it!
  • contact Petzl America:

- by telephone: 801 926 1541
- or by email:


More (please refer to these Petzl sites if you suspect you may own one of the products in question):

Please refer to the beginning of this post for the latest links regarding both the Scoprio and Absorbica products.

Full safety alert
including a "Petzl Via Ferrata Layards Identification Tool."

Letter from Petzl President
, Paul Petzl, outlining the incident and the company's response.

July 12th, 2011: Scorpio and Absorbica recall notice on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website.

Posted by

OSI Staff

on 5/19/11


No comments. Be the first to comment!

Speak Your Mind

Non-member comments moderated before posting. No spam or unrelated links please. Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.
Articles by Category
Free Resources

10 Steps to Better Risk Management - Free DownloadNew! 10 Steps to Better Risk Management - learn quick safety steps for your program. Download free guide. Go»

OSI Newsletter Icon - Signup for OSI's Free Email NewsletterThe Outdoor Safety Newsletter covers risk management for outdoor activities. Go»

Facebook Outdoor SafetyLike OSI on Facebook for current news & discussion on wilderness risk management. Go»

By OSI's Alex Kosseff AMC Guide to Outdoor Leadership, 2nd Ed AMC Guide to Outdoor Leadership
5 Star Rating
Learn More»

© Outdoor Safety Institute LLC • Terms of Use & Privacy PolicyContact Us