Important Product Safety Alert

Potential Safety Issue with Retainers for Campbell Quik-Alloy Coupling Links in Sizes 9/32”, 3/8”, and 1/2”

Follow-up Notice - Additional Dates for Affected QA Coupling Link Retainers


NOTICE: Product Safety Notice Regarding Campbell Quik-Alloy Coupling Link, Sizes 9/32", 3/8", and 1/2".


We are updating our original safety alert and recall notice regarding the QA Coupling Link Retainers. After numerous conversations and communications with many of our customers, we have determined that the problem with the retainers may be more widespread than we initially understood, as it appears that the period during which the retainers were not properly heat-treated may have begun earlier than our supplier initially told us. We contacted the supplier of the retainers to have them again review their records, and they have told us that based on their additional investigation, they believe it is best to recall all three sizes of retainers beginning with our date code “R1” to cover all possible missed heat treatments. Therefore, we are issuing this revised notice containing the same information we provided in the first notice, except for the new dates in the table information. Please contact Apex Customer Service at 888-447-6326 to order more retainers or return in-stock coupling links. You can also call or email me with questions, and I will help in any way I can.

We share any frustration you may be feeling, and we apologize for any additional inconvenience. However, we are committed to taking all steps necessary to insure the safety of all users of the QA Coupling Link. Your cooperation and patience with this very difficult issue has been and is appreciated.

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 on the next page. Replacement pin and retainer kits purchased after the dates listed below are also affected by this Safety Alert.

 Coupling Link Size/Part Number   Dates Manufactured To Present        Date Codes Involved 
9/32" - 5779125 January 2009 to Present R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, 
S1, S2, S3, S4, S5 
3/8" - 5779135 January 2010 to Present R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, 
S1, S2, S3, S4, S5 
1/2" - 5779145 January 2010 to Present R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, 
S1, S2, S3, S4, S5 
9/32" Kit - 5784425 January 2009 to Present N/A
3/8" Kit - 5784435 January 2010 to Present N/A
1/2" Kit - 5784445 January 2010 to Present N/A

Although these retainers may still appear to be functioning properly,  the affected retainers should be removed and replaced immediately. 
Please contact the Hanes Supply Quality Department  for additional information.

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 by our supplier from January 2009 until September 2010 for all three retainers - 9/32”, 3/8” and 1/2”.

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 R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, S1, S2, S3, S4, S5
  • 3/8" – Date codes R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, S1, S2, S3, S4, S5
  • 1/2" – Date codes R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, 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 required 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 verifications 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 coupling links that could contain affected retainers be removed from service until the replacement retainers are installed.

campbell link