Retirement Guidelines for the HollowBlock 2

Travis Shipman, Quality Control Manager Nov 2nd 2023
hollowblock2 in-use

The HollowBlock2 is specifically designed to be used as a Friction Hitch on one or two life-safety ropes, as a backup to the safety system.

It should NEVER be used as the sole or primary connection point in any safety system.

Its strength is 100% reliant on the condition of the stitching and the braided yarns. Therefore, this product is very different than typical accessory cords, webbings and slings that are also commonly used as Friction Hitches and requires practice and training in a safe environment before use.

Before EVERY use of the product, visually inspect the entire surface area of the product:

  • If any single yarn appears to be partially or fully cut, DO NOT use the product.
  • If the stitching under the plastic protective cover shows any signs of wear DO NOT use the product.
  • If the protective plastic cover is not present, do not use the product.
  • Significant abrasion or “fuzzy” appearance indicates damage to the fibers. Fiber damage will result in a strength reduction of the product from the published value.
  • The amount of strength reduction is extremely difficult to quantify without destructive testing. The product should not be used after significant abrasion has occurred.
  • Avoid contact with chemicals and prolonged exposure to sunlight. If you suspect chemical contamination, retire product immediately. Aramid fibers have poor resistance to UV radiation, such as sunlight. Direct, prolonged exposure to UV radiation will result in strength loss of the fibers proportional to the duration and intensity of exposure. Three months of direct exposure to sunlight can decrease the strength of Aramid by 50%.
very worn HollowBlock2 hitches
  • These are heavily worn and should have been retired long before they reached this state.

A sewn product MUST be retired if:

  • It has held a major fall
  • It appears to be damaged
  • It has been subjected to chemical contamination
  • There is any doubt about its security

If you need assistance, please contact Sterling at 800.788.7673 or email customer service at

We have committed to ourselves and to those who use and rely on our products that we'll never compromise quality; we'll never stop innovating real-world solutions, and we'll deliver the most reliable equipment possible.