Multiple reports have been received by BCA regarding harness buckles on the newest model of Petzl caving harnesses that have orange coloured webbing, ie both the Super Avanti and Aven. The issue is that buckles on harnesses that are either new, or in relatively new condition, tend to work loose to the extent that they come undone. BCA officers posted on this forum about this issue in April 2022 and have been in regular contact with Petzl since then.
Almost all the reports have been about leg loop buckles. We have had a very small number of reports regarding the belt buckle also loosening, though not coming undone.
Petzl has designed a buckle cover, specifically for leg loops on either harness. A small number of cavers in the UK and abroad were sent the prototype buckle covers in January 2023 and these were found to be highly effective. These anti-slip devices have now been manufactured and can be ordered free of charge via the Petzl UK contact page https://www.petzl.com/GB/en/Sport/Contact choosing the ‘After-sales Service’ option. You should mention ‘anti-slip device for Superavanti (or Aven) harness’ when you complete the form.
Petzl has also reminded everyone that regular checks of kit are important.
Cavers are advised to pass this information along so that as many cavers as possible are aware of this potential safety issue.
Steve Grey – BCA Training Officer