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NDT.net Issue - 2010-08 - NEWS

Recall to Repair: Whitco Company LP Stadium Light Poles Can Fall Over, Posing Risk of Serious Injury and Death



NEWS  
NDT.net Journal
Issue: 2010-08
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, today announced a recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should immediately stop using recalled products until they are inspected and repaired.

Name of product: Whitco Company LP poles 70 feet tall or higher
Units: More than 2,500
Manufacturer: Whitco Company LP, of Fort Worth, Texas (which is out of business)

Hazard: The poles can fracture or crack and fall over, posing a risk of serious injury or death to patrons and bystanders from being hit or crushed. The poles range from 1 to 4 tons increasing the risk of death if the pole falls toward a crowded stadium or onto a building.

Incidents/Injuries: As of June 2010, CPSC has confirmed eleven incidents in which Whitco Co. LP poles fell. In one incident, a pole fell through the roof of a school gymnasium causing significant property damage. In two other incidents, the poles fell onto outdoor bleachers causing significant property damage. The latest incident occurred at Integrity Park Inc. in Argyle, Texas. The majority of incidents occurred in Texas with others in several other states where Whitco Co. LP poles have been installed. To date, CPSC is not aware of any injuries. However, some incidents have been close calls, with people exiting the area just minutes before a pole fell. CPSC has also identified more than 50 Whitco Co. LP poles that have not yet fallen, but inspections revealed fractures and/or cracks next to the weld that joins the pole to its base plate. The fallen and cracked poles were located near or around school football stadiums and gymnasiums.

Description: This recall to inspect and repair involves Whitco Co. LP outdoor steel stadium light poles from about 70 to 135 feet and weigh from about 1 to 4 tons. The poles are constructed of steel with a galvanized coating and were manufactured between 2000-2005.The poles can be found at facilities such as recreational parks and fields, schools and outdoor stadiums. Attached is a listing (pdf) of locations that may have the affected poles.

Note: This release does not affect Whitco Pole products.

Sold by: Lighting contractors nationwide from 2000 through 2005.

Manufactured in: United States and Mexico

Remedy: To reduce the risk of injury, Whitco Co. LP light poles should be inspected by an engineer or a Level II non-destructive testing technician immediately to identify cracking at or near the weld connecting the pole to the base plate flange. A visual examination with the naked eye or with a magnifier will not determine the extent of any cracking. Non-destructive techniques such as magnetic particle inspection, dye penetrant, or ultrasonic inspection techniques are recommended. If any cracking or fracturing is found, immediately have the affected poles repaired or replaced by a qualified professional. A design analysis to assess the stresses placed on the pole is also recommended. CPSC recommends that all outdoor steel stadium light poles be routinely inspected by a professional. As the manufacturer has become bankrupt, individual owners of the poles must arrange for inspection.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, please contact CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 anytime or send an e-mail to info@cpsc.gov

Base plate of stadium light pole Close-up - crack near weld that joins the pole to its base plate
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Fallen stadium light poles Stadium light pole fallen through gymnasium roof

CPSC is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about it by visiting https://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx

Visit: Forum: Technical Discussions: Stadium Light Poles opened by Ken at Jul-20-2010

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054. To join a CPSC e-mail subscription list, please go to https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx. Consumers can obtain recall and general safety information by logging on to CPSC's Web site at www.cpsc.gov.


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