Over 100 dangerous climbing harnesses have been seized by Suffolk Trading Standards following a tip-off that previously destroyed equipment was being sold on e-bay.
Suffolk Trading Standards were alerted to the possible danger on 2nd April 2016 when West Yorkshire Trading Standards informed them of “Surplusandlost online”, a Suffolk based business, selling safety harnesses (advertised as cut, repaired and tested) on eBay for £12.99.
An investigation into the Petzl Aspir harnesses revealed they had been cut and disposed of to prevent their sale; only to be recovered by a third party in France and have their straps crudely stitched back together. Lyon Work & Rescue, the authorised representative in the UK confirmed that the products had not been repaired through an authorised channel and that there is a risk of serious injury or death should the repairs fail.
Suffolk Trading Standards immediately contacted the seller who has issued a product recall and are contacting all their customers who have purchased the harness to warn of the risks and offer a full refund.
Suffolk County Councillor Sarah Stamp, Cabinet Member for Communities said: “These harnesses had originally been destroyed and have absolutely not been repaired by an authorised person.
“We have serious concerns over the safety of these harnesses and climbers cannot assume the harness would protect them in the event of a fall. The risk is a very serious one, which could result in death or life changing injuries for the user. I urge anybody who has purchased one of these climbing harnesses from Surplusandlost online to stop using it immediately”
Suffolk Trading Standards is not aware of any other affected sellers and do not have safety concerns over Petzl climbing harnesses where repairs have been carried out by the authorised representative.