SKYLOTEC calls for a review of SIRIUS descender devices

SKYLOTEC is a brand that stands for the highest level of safety in industry and mountaineering. High quality standards are part of our basic understanding, so that people can work and climb reliably and safely at heights. In the case of brand-new SIRIUS abseiling devices manufactured before September 2020, a functional deviation was discovered. As a precautionary measure, SKYLOTEC calls on owners and users to carry out a functional test of the descender device.

With the SIRIUS descender from SKYLOTEC, a deviation in the functionality of two brand-new devices was discovered. When the handle was pulled to the panic stop position the function of the device was jammed and descents will not be possible. The reason for the blockage is due to tolerances between the rivet of the handle and the cam (a non-visible internal part).

Effects on the device in use

This deviation does not in any way reduce the strength or braking ability of the SIRIUS. There is no danger that the SIRIUS will release the rope or that the user will slip down the rope. The user would remain on the rope unable to descend, ascend with the SIRIUS is still possible and safe.

In regular working environments, rescue plans should be in place and such incidents resolved without health consequences. In some rare circumstances the inability to descend might represent risks.

For this reason, SKYLOTEC calls upon all owners and users of the SIRIUS to carry out a function check. Pre use check of PPE is mandatory. However, SKYLOTEC would like to point out once again and remind users that functional checks are indispensable. SKYLOTEC is publishing this notice measure as a precautionary measure in order to ensure the highest safety and quality standards for the users.

Check the device before use in a safe environment

  1. Orient the SIRIUS in the upside down position.
  2. Without inserting the rope, press the cam closed (figure 1).
  3. Pull the handle over its full swath of rotation to its terminal panic stop position while still pressing the cam closed (figure 2 and 3).
  4. Slowly return the handle in the locked (park) position to reset the system.
  5. Repeat step 3 and 4 a couple of times.
  6. During all pulls of the handle the cam must react to the pull by gradually rotating and finally clicking back in the closed position in the panic stop phase.

Faulty SIRIUS devices will be exchanged for a new device free of charge. SKYLOTEC has already adopted measures to eliminate this problem. All newly delivered SIRIUS from 1st September 2020 onwards are manufactured with tighter tolerances of the affected parts.

For further information on inspection and submission, please see here.

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