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Dangerous Harnesses on EBAY

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microwaveman 22 Mar 2016
A warning/ heads up and I am after some advice and oppinions. Been climbing/rigging for fun and work for 30 years and trained to inspect PPE and lifting equipment.

I have just bought 2 x PETZL Aspir harnesses for the kids from ebay army surplus in A1 condition or unused. On recieving these and inspecting them it appears they have been scrapped by having the waist and leg loops cut with a knife, They have then been overlapped by about 1" and stitched back together! this has been done in black thread so is not obvious and has been done in a proper square/triangle pattern.

I contacted the seller and he admits he did not know and that his supplier says they have been repaired professionally tested to 190kg and guaranteed to 120kg, he intends to alter the listing and keep selling these on ebay, he has already sold 41 before i informed him.

I believe these are very dangerous and that he should return them to his supplier (after cutting the buckles off) for a refund and recall all the ones sold. I am going to tell him this.

Any Advice?
 Cheese Monkey 22 Mar 2016
In reply to microwaveman:
Tell him he is likely to kill someone.

Let Petzl know
Post edited at 14:05
 Crewey-Rob 22 Mar 2016
In reply to microwaveman:

Abominable! I'd get the police involved too - lives are at stake.
 drunken monkey 22 Mar 2016
In reply to microwaveman:

Scary.

As above, tell Petzl and maybe Ebay? He has a responsibility to tell everyone who has bought one of these
 marsbar 22 Mar 2016
In reply to microwaveman:

Scary. I hope the police would deal with it.
2
In reply to microwaveman:

I've emailed a contact at Lyon, the distributor for Petzl. Can you email me a link to the eBay site where these were sold please?

Cheers,

Dan
microwaveman 22 Mar 2016
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

I have already informed ebay, they where more interested in my refund, i told them i couldn't care less about the money and that these where going to kill somebody, eventually they said they will investigate but i don't think they got it.

Didn't want to involve police but i think i will threaten to.

Would anybody be able to give figures of the potential shock load on a harness in worst case scenario.

And anybody know the recomended SWL of a harness.
microwaveman 22 Mar 2016
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

Yes definately Dan, i will send you some pictures too.
 marsbar 22 Mar 2016
In reply to microwaveman:

In my opinion it is irrelevant if they have been tested, they are/were sold with the wrong description. Would you have bought them if it said scrapped harnesses with repairs!!

If they didn't tell the truth about the "repairs" then how do you know they are telling the truth about testing.
 TMM 22 Mar 2016
In reply to microwaveman:
eBay link here.

http://tinyurl.com/h848dyq
Post edited at 14:28
In reply to TMM:

Report as an illegal item as they don't meet the legal requirements for PPE.

Repairs not authorised by manufacturer.
 rj_townsend 22 Mar 2016
In reply to marsbar:

This is less of a Police issue, and more one for Trading Standards.
 jkarran 22 Mar 2016
In reply to microwaveman:

Call your local trading standards office assuming it hasn't been closed down.
jk
microwaveman 22 Mar 2016
In reply to Ghastly Rubberfeet:

I already have.
Lusk 22 Mar 2016
In reply to microwaveman:

Never buy anything 'soft' (high end clothes, ropes, slings, harnesses!! etc) off ebay.
You just have no idea of their provenance.
Get them new from a shop or secondhand, in person, so you can make a judgement at the time.

Well done for highlighting this.
1
 Greasy Prusiks 22 Mar 2016
In reply to microwaveman:

Could you post a link on here to the listing please?
 elsewhere 22 Mar 2016
In reply to microwaveman:
Twitter to ebay - it's a very public way of communicating with a corporate

The ebay list http://tinyurl.com/h848dyq TMM linked to says
PLEASE NOTE
These harnesses WILL have had a repair.
Upon release they have the leg strap cut. This has been professionally repaired.
The repairs are tested with a drop weight of 185 Kg .
These are then rated by our supplier with a safe load rating of 120 Kg.

That doesn't sound like a recognised CE or UIAA test for what is still described as a "climbing harness".
Post edited at 14:44
 marsbar 22 Mar 2016
In reply to rj_townsend:

Ah ok thanks.
 marsbar 22 Mar 2016
In reply to elsewhere:
That has been added since I read the link earlier this afternoon.

Also the op says the waist loop as well.
Post edited at 14:49
microwaveman 22 Mar 2016
In reply to marsbar:

Yes waist loop is cut on one of mine, just near the buckle so you can't fully tighten the waist belt.
 marsbar 22 Mar 2016
In reply to rj_townsend:

I suppose I thought the police might be involved as it could (possibly) be fatal. Will trading standards be able to trace and warn other buyers?
In reply to marsbar:
They would be involved if there is any suspicion of fraud - report via http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ .
This could apply to those already sold, but as the description, now at least, appears to have been changed may not be the case for future sales. OP should report to Action Fraud for them to investigate, and Trading Standards re safety of selling questionable PPE both past and present.
In reply to microwaveman:
I have said before on ukc that it is the Elephant in the room

I ordered this 371445621302 from e bay £1.04 posted included from the far east I have not got it yet, so cannot comet on how it may or may not be viewed by the unaware but the whole thing is bloody frightening


edit I see talk of police if going anywhere its trading standers
edit two petzl is not the only harness on sale from the suppler
Post edited at 15:41
In reply to microwaveman:
Hi

Thanks for raising this issue. Lyon Equipment are the UK distributors for Petzl.

Could you contact our customer services team direct on helpdesk@lyon.co.uk so we can look into this please?

You can also telephone on 015396 24040
Post edited at 15:52
 ex0 22 Mar 2016
In reply to Lusk:

Better dump all my stuff then, second hand stuff does not mean 'stitched back together with cotton thread'. But by all means keep that opinion and keep spreading it, more decent second hand stuff for me
17
 rj_townsend 22 Mar 2016
In reply to marsbar:

> I suppose I thought the police might be involved as it could (possibly) be fatal. Will trading standards be able to trace and warn other buyers?

Trading Standards are pretty powerful - they'll be able to work with the seller on initiating a recall if they feel necessary. As mentioned elsewhere, if the activity is fraudulant then Police could get involved, but if it is a case of "item not as described", this would be dealt with by Trading Standards.
microwaveman 22 Mar 2016
In reply to Lyon Equipment Ltd:

Email and pictures sent
 faffergotgunz 22 Mar 2016
In reply to microwaveman:

Shocking! Call the FBI immediately
12
microwaveman 22 Mar 2016
In reply to rj_townsend:

Now reported to trading standards.
 marsbar 22 Mar 2016
In reply to rj_townsend:

Thanks.
Lusk 22 Mar 2016
In reply to ex0:

> Better dump all my stuff then, second hand stuff does not mean 'stitched back together with cotton thread'. But by all means keep that opinion and keep spreading it, more decent second hand stuff for me

Fill yer boots mate, I won't ever be buying 2nd hand safety gear off ebay.
As for new stuff, duvets, hardshells etc, it just ain't worth the hassle if it turns out to be dodgy.
1
 Andy Say 22 Mar 2016
In reply to elsewhere:

So you've got an (anonymous so far?) dealer buying trashed kit from the MoD and then 'repairing it' before offloading to a gullible pillock for a margin so that HE can then try to offload through eBay for another margin.

'These harnbesses [sic] are in VERY good condition. many have never been worn.'

'These harnesses WILL have had a repair.
Upon release they have the leg strap cut. This has been professionally repaired.'

No sign of repair on the accompanying photos. A trading standards issue for sure. And maybe one for the MoD; why would you flog on harnesses that you have taken a knife to?
 marsbar 22 Mar 2016
In reply to Andy Say:

Assuming it is MOD. I thought from the sizes it might be centre kit for kids. I imagine from the OPs description they were cut before being disposed of to prevent re-use. Someone has intercepted them and made money from this and should face the consequences. I imagine petzl will look into it.
 Fraser 22 Mar 2016
In reply to microwaveman:

I'd contact the HSE.
 Andy Say 22 Mar 2016
In reply to marsbar:

Black kit = ?

Petzl / Lyon have supplied them in good faith to 'X'.
'X' has decided, for whatever reason (past their shelf life?) to dispose of them after cutting the leg loops (be interesting to see the description of the goods at that point).
'Y' has bought them and done a 'repair' seeking to make a quick buck. Be interesting to see who did the 'testing' - hanging a bag or two of sand on a static load? 'Y' has then offloaded (did they know that they would be vulnerable if they simply sold to the public?) to 'Z' who similarly seeks to make a quick buck.
'Z' then, hopefully, faces the music when it all goes arse-up.
 Andy Say 22 Mar 2016
In reply to Fraser:

> I'd contact the HSE.

As would I. Unfortunately it will have to go through Trading Standards first to ascertain the possible breach. And, whilst they try, I wouldn't hold my breath for a meaningful response from TS. Which authority do you alert for a kick off?
 Fraser 22 Mar 2016
In reply to Andy Say:
Not sure really, it was just my initial reaction that the problem was predominantly safety related made me suggest the HSE. I'd have tried my local department initially and hoped that they would forward the concern to the one dealing with the vendor's area.

Edit: link now says item is "temporarily sold out".
Post edited at 18:39
 Cheese Monkey 22 Mar 2016
In reply to microwaveman:

If everyone on this thread emails the seller and reports to eBay that would be a good start
 Andy Say 22 Mar 2016
In reply to Fraser:

> Edit: link now says item is "temporarily sold out".

Does that translate as 'now in a skip and hoping nobody comes after me'?
In reply to microwaveman:

Just found this document b googling. Its on industrial harnesses. Skimming I found this

"The literature is not sympathetic to the notion of increasing present levels of arrest force on
wearers of full body harnesses. A deceleration of 12G is considered survivable in a parachute
harness, i.e. a harness with torso enclosing straps and shoulder straps. For such harnesses the
NASA/AGARD researches indicate a 5% injury risk at 12.1G, but the differing posture, physical
fitness levels, harness attachment location, 'wearer comfort' and other factors have influenced the
advisability of 6G as a maximum for users of industrial harnesses. "

For me 6G is the weight of a lump 600kg. But I'm not kid. 120kg is 6G for a child upto 20kg, which sounds quite small.

But I've no idea what safety margin we would expect in a harness. But all round it does seem dodgy.
 elsewhere 22 Mar 2016
In reply to Ampthill:
No idea what standards are for a harness but I would expect it to be comparable to or stronger* than a 22kN ish caribiner or sling you might use with a harness.

*harnesses are pretty heavy duty compared to slings.
Lusk 22 Mar 2016
In reply to elsewhere:
I always think harnesses are quite deceptive.
They're essentially just a loop of flat tape through a buckle or two.
My Petzl is 25mm

edit: load is also shared through the legs loops, so not quite as disconcerting!
Post edited at 20:49
 marsbar 22 Mar 2016
In reply to Andy Say:

I would like to see Y face the music. And whoever works at X that sold them instead of binning them.
In reply to elsewhere:

More googling gives this

http://www.rockandice.com/lates-news/busted?page=1

So yes 2,000kg would be expected. Though quite what that would do to you I shudder to think. It would have to be fall onto the belay as no top runner would ever survive that
 elsewhere 22 Mar 2016
In reply to microwaveman:
Well done. Looks like you have got them withdrawn for sale. Not impressed that the seller tried to continue selling them after you warned them.
 deepsoup 22 Mar 2016
In reply to Andy Say:
> So you've got an (anonymous so far?) dealer buying trashed kit from the MoD and then 'repairing it' before offloading to a gullible pillock for a margin so that HE can then try to offload through eBay for another margin.

Stealing, not buying. There is no way they'd be sold on. The whole point of cutting the straps at the end of their service life is to make them unusable prior to dumping them. (Precisely so that some mook doesn't fish them out of the bin and start using them again).

Whoever dumped them needs to try a bit harder to destroy them first, it seems. And whoever is passing them on, even if they were fished out of a skip, has stolen them.
1
 elsewhere 22 Mar 2016
In reply to deepsoup:
Yes, stolen is more likely.
Looks like they need to remove every bit of buckle and dispose of the fabric scraps and metal separately to stop bin raking. Crazy.
1
 Morts 23 Mar 2016
In reply to microwaveman:

Well I dropped him a (very polite) line yesterday morning and in his defence he was very quick in getting back to me:


Hello,

Yes, we were only made aware of this on Saturday by a customer. We removed them from sale whilst we investigated the issue and contacted our supplier, who confirmed that these have all been professionally repaired and tested up to a drop rating of 185kg, and they have rated a guaranteed safe load of up to 120kg. Our supplier for these is a french military reseller. Due to the safety fears however we have removed these from sale. Unfortunately ebay only stores records for the past three months, if you could let member of your community know that they can contact us through ebay if they have purchased one of these are are concerned, we are more than happy to take them back and send a full refund. We would never risk our reputation or the safety of our customers just to make a few pounds.

Regards,
James
Surplus and Lost

and a few hours later this arrived too:

Hello,

We are also emailing all buyers in the last 90days (all from this batch of harnesses) and offering them a full refund while explaining the situation.

Regards,
James
Surplus and Lost




So at least something is happening at the moment

Morts
microwaveman 23 Mar 2016
In reply to Morts:

This is all sorted now, the seller is doing the right thing, these will not be sold now, items to be recalled and refunded.
In reply to microwaveman:

Now I reread these test number I assume they refer to climber weight not static load. Which makes the numbers alot less scary

But as the age is uncertain they shouldn't be for sale and it wasn't clear that they were repaired
 Andy Say 23 Mar 2016
In reply to deepsoup:

> Stealing, not buying. There is no way they'd be sold on.

That makes sense. Possibly a French source, then?
 bpmclimb 24 Mar 2016
In reply to Morts:

We would never risk our reputation or the safety of our customers just to make a few pounds.

That's good to hear. So can we take it that in future you will be advising your customers to buy such crucial PPE items as harnesses new, and not second hand/repaired, which clearly will always entail some element of risk?
2
 zimpara 31 Mar 2016
In reply to microwaveman:

Why buy your kids harnesses off ebay? I bet you didn't get yours from an ebay surplusstore!
There's no reason to take a punt on such crucial bits of kit, and kids ffs.
10
 marsbar 01 Apr 2016
In reply to zimpara:
He has the experience needed to make that decision. He checked them and dealt with it. He posted here to warn anyone without his experience. Don't be so judgemental.

The issue here is that the harnesses were advertised as new and weren't.
Post edited at 08:51
 Snowdave 01 Apr 2016
In reply to microwaveman:

I used to own & run a specialist climbing shop & dealt with rope access, arb, "black ops", etc kit along with standard climbing stuff & sold most makes inc Petzl. I also used to advise / specify gear for companies etc.

The OP ad is total fiction "A1 or unused condition", so the OP can demand money back & trading standards can get involved as mis-leading sales info.

As far as the legality of "repaired professionally" harnesses, that's a con, & total lie in this situation. If a part of the harness is faulty & the item can be repaired without altering the item from factory & how it was originally tested by the factory for original test certs then yes a repair can be done. This happens when a buckle fails or the removable upper shoulder straps are worn, replacement items can be refitted as harness is as per factory spec.

However in this case the webbing is cut & then "professionally" re-stitched, & test loaded to 185kg? For a start you NEVER drop test soft goods as a means of "inspecting" as this can destroy the items, & render the item useless. Inspection for usability is visually only. Drop/strength testing of soft goods is always destructive for testing at factory.

The fact that the leg loops have been cut & then re-stitched, why were they cut in the first place? Usually this is done by an "inspector" to make sure the items can not be re-used, I have done this many times to gear which I think is unfit to use.

P.S. I still think it baffling, after all this time that people think its great to buy climbing /safety gear of ebay etc...
 zimpara 01 Apr 2016
In reply to marsbar:

Oh marsbar...

All the experience in the world, yet still ducks a reputable shop to save £30 on his kids harnesses. My point still stands, he sure as hell didnt buy his harness from ebay.

MADNESS
6
 Steve Hill 08 Apr 2016
 gethin_allen 08 Apr 2016
In reply to Steve Hill:

I wonder if trading standards will be able to trace these harnesses back to their original owner to identify which idiot fished them out of the bin and repaired them?
 elsewhere 08 Apr 2016
In reply to gethin_allen:
Fingers crossed they manage to contact the buyers before anybody gets hurt.

At least through ebay they should have complete records of sales and buyers.
 rossn 08 Apr 2016
In reply to microwaveman:

I would take it up with Trading Standards.
1
 Snowdave 08 Apr 2016
In reply to microwaveman:

At least this will slow down this ebay seller, but nature abhors a vacuum so some other idiot will do the same scam again...

Support your independent authorized actual shops FFS!!!!

Use the manufacturer websites for a list of authorized resellers!
 Steve Hill 08 Apr 2016
In reply to gethin_allen:

The article said they were recovered and repaired in France, so it sounds like they've tracked them down to some extent. I guess the harness serial numbers can at least be used to figure out who the original retailer was when they were brand new...
 Snowdave 08 Apr 2016
In reply to Steve Hill:

> The article said they were recovered and repaired in France, so it sounds like they've tracked them down to some extent. I guess the harness serial numbers can at least be used to figure out who the original retailer was when they were brand new...

Serial numbers are only tracking for factory batch's for any recalls, not for tracking to retailers, so all they can do is get the build dates from the serial numbers & then look at factory stock levels & then see who purchased.

TBO I think that the way they were cut (one cut & places that can be hidden by padding) suggests the person who cut them did so in the full knowledge that they would be repaired & sold on again. Then I have "cut/destroyed" when doing inspection, three cuts minimum & no way it can be reused/repaired....

I recon that these were "destroyed" for financial reasons eg company going bust, or for writing off tax year, they were then "cut" to legitimately write them off, but done so in such a way that they could be "repaired" & sold on to make more money, so inside job with inspector???

Big scam...
1
 gethin_allen 08 Apr 2016
In reply to Snowdave:
"I recon that these were "destroyed" for financial reasons eg company going bust, or for writing off tax year, they were then "cut" to legitimately write them off, but done so in such a way that they could be "repaired" & sold on to make more money, so inside job with inspector???"

My guess is that they were being retired by an institution like the army. Thinking about it, if the cuts are as you suggest in inconspicuous places, this does seem to suggest that the person doing the cutting had intentions of using them. If you really wanted to stop a harness being used further you'd surely cut the belay loop first and make a real mess of them.
 EddInaBox 08 Apr 2016
In reply to gethin_allen:

> My guess is that they were being retired by an institution like the army. Thinking about it, if the cuts are as you suggest in inconspicuous places, this does seem to suggest that the person doing the cutting had intentions of using them. If you really wanted to stop a harness being used further you'd surely cut the belay loop first and make a real mess of them.

No need to speculate, it says earlier on in the thread that they were sourced from a French military reseller:
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=637236#x8263232
 EddInaBox 08 Apr 2016
In reply to gethin_allen:

> My guess is that they were being retired by an institution like the army. Thinking about it, if the cuts are as you suggest in inconspicuous places, this does seem to suggest that the person doing the cutting had intentions of using them. If you really wanted to stop a harness being used further you'd surely cut the belay loop first and make a real mess of them.

No need to speculate, it says earlier on in the thread that they were sourced from a French military reseller:
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=637236#x8263232
 gethin_allen 08 Apr 2016
In reply to EddInaBox:

> No need to speculate, it says earlier on in the thread that they were sourced from a French military reseller:


So it does. My initial suspicions were based on how so much other army kit manages to find it's way out of the army and onto E-bay and dodgy militaria sales, a lot of it stuff that really shouldn't.
1
 Oceanrower 08 Apr 2016
In reply to gethin_allen:

> So it does. My initial suspicions were based on how so much other army kit manages to find it's way out of the army and onto E-bay and dodgy militaria sales, a lot of it stuff that really shouldn't.

Have you been watching the Night Manager?
 gethin_allen 08 Apr 2016
In reply to Oceanrower:

> Have you been watching the Night Manager?

No, I haven't got a TV, I'm speaking from experience. Fortunately I'm not talking about weapons or anything dangerous just other kit paid for by the UK tax payer that finds it's way out of the army for the profit of others.

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