Tool Tether would have prevented death

You’ve probably already heard about Gary Anderson who was killed last week by a tape measure that was dropped by a construction worker 50 floors up.

Gary Anderson had just stood up after talking with someone in a car when the tape measure ricocheted off a metal beam and struck him. He was not wearing his hard hat which was in the back seat of his car.

Gary was rushed to the hospital where he died as doctors tried to save him from his head injuries.

Gary’s death comes amidst a renewed interest in trying to mandate and regulate “objects at height”. Unfortunately there are no specific regulations concerning tools and other objects used when working at heights. The only pertinent section states: “All materials, equipment and tools, which are not in use while aloft, shall be secured against accidental displacement.” In this case, for example, the tape measure was in use.

There are tool lanyard, tethers and tool buckets designed to keep tools and equipment from slipping out of hands or off the edge of the work area but until OSHA makes it mandatory accidents like this are going to continue to happen.