Second Leading Cause of Death
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 241 deaths caused by dropped objects in the U.S in 2019. OSHA’s “Focus Four” training recognizes “struck by and object” as the second of four leading causes of worker deaths on construction sites. Dropped objects can also cause injuries to people who are not workers or cause damage to their property.
Tool Tethering + Training + Inspection = Prevention
Tool tethering equipment combined with appropriate worker training and regular equipment inspection can help to prevent these deaths, injuries, and damage. Manufacturers should comply with the 2018 American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/ International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) 121 Standard, which covers four categories of dropped objects prevention solutions: tool anchors, tool attachments, tool tethers, and containers.
Companies should develop a dropped-object prevention program that includes a good written procedure, the backbone of any prevention program. Successful written procedures usually include three major components:
- Purpose, scope, and definitions
- Employee responsibilities
- Work practices
Getting Started in Three Easy Steps
Before establishing tool tethering and a dropped-object prevention program, make sure you understand the parts involved in your dropped-object prevention and that you know your tools. To build your own tool tethering system:
- Start with the tool/object you would like to tether. Does is have an open handle or captive-eye hole?
- Select a solution based on the weight of your tool/object. Do you need an attachment?
- Choose the best tethering solution for the appropriate weight capacity.
Once you have established the best tethering solution for each tool, be sure to develop a training program and procedural guidelines for your employees.