Important Campbell Safety Alert

Dec 28, 2010:

Potential Safety Issue with Retainers for Campbell Quik-Alloy Coupling Links in Sizes 9/32″, 3/8″, and 1/2″. Death or Serious Bodily Injury Could Result.

We have recently determined that Campbell Quik-Alloy Coupling Links, 9/32″, 3/8″, and 1/2″, were shipped to our customers with retainers (a/k/a “snap rings”) that had not been properly heat treated by our supplier. This lack of heat treatment could result in the retainer having less holding strength on the pin. This could result in the pin falling out, which would cause the coupling link to separate and any suspended load to fall. A falling load could cause death or serious bodily injury.

In the interest of safety, Apex is replacing all affected retainers immediately, even if the retainers appear to be functioning properly. Apex will replace the retainers free of charge.

The part number and date codes of the coupling links with affected retainers are identified below. The date code is located on the base of the female flange of the coupling link as shown in the picture below. Replacement pin and retainer kits purchased after the dates listed below are also affected by this Campbell Safety Alert.

Campbell Safety Alert Table

Campbell Safety Alert

The Date Code is located at the base of the female flage and will consist of a letter followed by a number. This photo shows an example of an R2 date code.

FAQ for Product Safety Notice Regarding Campbell Quik-Alloy Coupling Link, Sizes 9/32″, 3/8″, and 1/2″.

Q: Why is Apex Tool Group/Campbell Chain issuing this Safety Alert?

A: We have recently discovered that retainers (a/k/a “snap rings”) in Quik-Alloy Coupling Links were not properly heat treated by our supplier. This reduces the holding power of the retainer on the pin and could cause a risk of the pin falling out of the coupling link. This could cause the coupling link to separate, and a suspended load to fall, which could result in death or serious bodily injury.

Q: When were the affected retainers manufactured?

A: The affected retainers were manufactured from April 2009 until September 2010 (for 9/32″ retainers), and from January 2010 until September 2010 (for the 3/8″ and 1/2″ retainers).

Q: How do I determine if I have purchased products subject to this Safety Alert?

A: The affected product can be identified by the forged date code located below the female flange on the coupling link bodies, as shown in the photo. The date codes on the QA coupling links that may contain the affected retainers are:

9/32″–Date codes R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, S1, S2, S3, S4, S5
3/8″–Date codes S1, S2, S3, S4, S5
1/2″–Date codes S1, S2, S3, S4, S5

Q: Where were the products made?
A: The Quik-Alloy Coupling Links are made at the Apex Tools Group/Campbell plant in Cortland, NY. The retainers were manufactured by a supplier in Manchester, PA.

Q: Should slings that contain Quik-Alloy Coupling Links with the listed date codes be removed from service?
A: Yes, immediately. As a safety precaution, we are recommending that all slings assembled with coupling links that could contain affected retainers be removed from service immediately until the replacement retainers are installed.

Q: Does the sling need to be re-proof tested or re-certified after replacement of the retainer?

A: No, it is not necessary that the sling be re-proof tested or re-certified. The retainer is not a load-bearing part of the coupling link. The load-bearing components of the coupling link were proof tested as part of the manufacturing process.

Q: What is Apex Tool Group/Campbell doing to fix the problem?

A: Meetings have been held with the supplier. All existing and replacement retainers are properly heat treated. All Apex/Campbell warehouse inventory of coupling links have been returned to the Cortland plant for re-packaging with the correctly heat treated retainers. The supplier is implementing additional quality measures as part of its manufacturing process to include not only heat treatment certification, but also certification from supplier’s management that all processes have been completed. The Cortland plant is also implementing additional quality verification as part of its Receiving Inspection process.

Q: When can I get replacement product?

A: We are working with our supplier to have replacement retainers and Quik-Alloy Coupling Links available as soon as possible. The supplier is heat treating all existing inventory, and is in the process of producing more retainers to meet the demand for the replacement retainers. As noted above, Campbell strongly urges that all slings assembled with couplings links that could contain affected retainers be removed from service until the replacement retainers are installed

Please contact Apex Tool Group with any questions:

Fran Barber
Manager, Quality Assurance
Apex Tool Group—Cortland Operation
45 Cleveland Street
Cortland, NY 13045
Phone 607.756.2821 Ext. 281
Fax 607.753.3722