Pinnacle Safety and Training Blog

The danger of rubber keepers on slings

July 2013:

Much is still unknown about why Tito fell to the ground at Orpierre, France this week. What is known at this stage is that the quickdraws used to equip the route he was climbing were slung incorrectly, which resulted in total failure and a groundfall.

UPDATE!

We now know that the quickdraws used on the route Tito was climbing were set up incorrectly. Quickdraws often come with rubber keepers to prevent unwanted carabiner rotation. It would appear that these quickdraws were set up in such a way that the carabiner was clipped solely through the non-load-bearing rubber keeper, and not through the load bearing webbing - as the picture below demonstrates:

This is extremely sad news and we can only hope that this tragic accident prompts learning and discussion and the elimination of such accidents in the future.

Dec 2015 update:
It is now reported that three persons will go to trial for manslaughter in this tragic case including the manufacturer of the rubber keeper for “allegedly not including adequate instructions for assembling…” Read more here

Very impressed that Jay took the time after we had finished to talk through particular compliance and practical issues with me. Unlike most of the people attending I have to write my own methods and procedures. I left with a good understanding of what I will have to put in place to be compliant.

David F. - Melbourne, VIC

Ruoak Enterprises Work Safely at Heights