When we talk about safety when dealing with heights, we usually think about fall protection and rarely, if ever, about falling objects. Dropped items (tools, bolts, screws, hard hats, etc…) is actually among the top four most frequent work-related injury events accounting for 6% of all workplace fatalities; it also accounts for 2/3 of all fatalities in the “Struck by” category.
If we further look at all the time that is lost climbing back down to retrieve the tool, account for the damage it does to equipment below, account for lost or broken tools because they’ve been dropped from heights, the issue suddenly escalates into a much bigger problem than we might have thought it was at first glance.
While standards remain ambiguous and unclear, there seems to be little doubt that OSHA and state safety bureaus will start looking at this sooner than later. It’s hard to imagine that they would ignore a problem that accounts for 6% of fatalities in the workplace.
Ergodyne has been one of the leaders in this area. Here’s a sampling of what they have done to address the issue:
Hard Hat Tethers – Lanyards that attach to the hard hat to make sure that it doesn’t plummet to the ground if it should fall off.
Hoist buckets designed to securely hoist the tools and equipment up to where they are needed.
Bolt bags with a one-handed cinch-up top for keeping gear safe and secure.
Tool Pouches – Designed with D-rings for tethering the tools