Most of the major tree climbing equipment manufacturers have already begun making noises about counterfeit (and low quality) product entering the market.
Petzl issued a warning earlier in the year and Treemagineer Mark Bridge (arguably representing DMM and Teufelberger offered some startling insights in his 'PPE Going Global' presentation at the July ISA Conference in Parramata.
The interesting thing was, not 50 meters from where Mark was speaking, an 'Exhibitor' at the ISA Conference Trade Show was actively selling knock-off product (as reported by Treetools.
ISC have chosen Facebook as their medium of choice to touch on the subject via a letter published by kiwi arborist Jerry Lynch.
Tree climbers and arboricultural companies need to be aware: the issue of counterfeit and inferior product is not going to go away. The more likely scenario is; the situation is going to get worse!
Currently there are numerous New Zealand 'safety' companies hawking inferior product. At first glance, their climbing hardware looks to be satisfactory but on closer inspection you will find that is simply not the case.
To make matters worse, there are plenty of Procurement Officers out there in the wider height safety market who do not know exactly what they are buying. Their task is to get three quotes and approve the cheapest. This is all well and good if all the products they are buying are the same, but in many cases they are not.
The moral of the story: if you have not purchased the gear yourself, conduct a thorough check before you climb (and ask questions about the source of the product if it was supplied to you).