Monday, August 24, 2009

CPSC Alert: Whitco Co. LP Stadium Light Poles Can Fall Over, Posing Risk of Serious Injury and Death

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs Washington, DC 20207

August 24, 2009
Release #09-321 CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

CPSC Alert: Whitco Co. LP Stadium Light Poles Can Fall Over, Posing Risk of Serious Injury and Death

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is alerting the public, school officials, facilities managers, and municipal and public safety officials that outdoor steel stadium light poles manufactured by Whitco Co. LP, of Fort Worth, Texas can fracture or crack and fall over, posing a risk of serious injury and death to patrons and bystanders from being hit or crushed. To reduce the risk of injury, Whitco Co. LP outdoor steel stadium light poles should be inspected immediately.

CPSC has confirmed nine incidents in which Whitco Co. LP poles installed from about 2000 through 2006 fell. In one incident, a pole fell through the roof of a school gymnasium causing significant damage. In two incidents, a pole fell onto outdoor bleachers causing significant damage. The majority of incidents occurred in Texas, though the Whitco Co. LP poles have been installed in other states. To date, CPSC is not aware of any injuries.

CPSC has also confirmed that nearly 50 Whitco Co. LP poles that have not fallen had developed 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.

Whitco Co. LP, formerly located at 7700 Wyatt Drive in Fort Worth, is no longer in business. The poles can be found at facilities such as recreational parks and fields, schools, and outdoor stadiums. The poles are constructed of steel with a galvanized coating, and can range from about 70 to 135 feet tall, and weigh from about 1 to 4 tons.

CPSC recommends that Whitco Co. LP outdoor steel stadium light poles be inspected by a qualified professional immediately to reduce the risk of poles falling over and crushing a patron or bystander. CPSC also recommends that the areas of, and next to, all welds joining a pole to its base plate be inspected for signs of cracking, fractures, or deterioration. Visual examination with the naked eye or with a magnifier will not sufficiently determine the extent of fracturing or cracking. If any of these conditions are found, immediately have the affected poles repaired or replaced by a qualified professional.

CPSC is conducting an investigation concerning these poles and other outdoor steel stadium light poles that may pose a similar concern. CPSC recommends that all outdoor steel stadium light poles be routinely inspected.

If you have information or questions regarding this warning, contact CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 anytime or send an e-mail to


Send the link for this page to a friend! 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 (800) 638-8270. To join a CPSC e-mail subscription list, please go to Consumers can obtain recall and general safety information by logging on to CPSC's Web site at

For additional information contact:

Alan L. Morton
1005 North Eighth Street
Post Office Box 420
Boise, ID 83701-0420
Telephone: 208.344.5555
Toll Free: 866.946.1669 (866.WIN.1.NOW)
Facsimile: 208.342.2509

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