Have you considered dropped object prevention in your fall protection program? If your employees work at heights, not only should they be outfitted in proper fall protection equipment, so should their tools!
Do you need fall protection for your tools and accessories?
- Does your team work at heights?
- Does your team use tools and equipment while working at heights?
- Is worker safety on the ground important to you?
Falling objects carry a higher force and higher velocity than their weight. This means tools falling from heights can cause catastrophic injury or death. Think about it. A three-pound tool falling from 200 feet will travel at a speed of 80 miles per hour when it finally hits the ground, according to Industrial Safety and Hygiene News. No one wants to be on the receiving end of that.
In 2019, there were 241 worker fatalities that were a direct result of being struck by a falling object or piece of equipment. In 2020, there were another 217.
The grim reality is that most, if not all, of these deaths could have been avoided if there had been more stringent safety measures in place. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) developed a standard for tool tethering systems and containers used to transport and secure tools and equipment. Otherwise known as ANSI/ISEA 121-2018, this dropped object standard is voluntary and not required by regulating bodies. However, OSHA does require employers address the risk of falling/dropped objects in several standards that can be enforced. So why not take advantage of safety recommendations when possible?
How Can I Secure My Tools When Working at Heights?
Tool tethers are active engineering controls that prevent objects from falling in the first place before they have the potential to cause injury to bystanders or damage to property. Hand tools like wrenches, hammers and tape measures can be tethered as well as power tools like grinders, angle grinders, drills and nail guns. When a worker must climb a ladder or work from above, tool tethering protects bystanders below from an accidental drop that could be deadly. What’s more, the worker won’t be inclined to instinctively reach for the falling tool, putting him or herself in danger of falling.
Simple in design, a tool tethering system has three parts that consist of a tether point, tool lanyard and anchor point. Choosing a tool with a tether point or security drop ring already attached to the tool from the manufacturer ensures the most secure attachment to the tool itself. The tool lanyard is the strap or bungee that connects to both the anchor point and the tether point. Your anchor point should be a solid structure that can easily support the weight of the tool, associated drop force and shock absorption of the tool itself. There are limits to how much weight can be anchored to a person, so be sure to check guidelines for safety.
Need a tool? Have questions on improving the safety and efficiency of your power tool programs?
Give us a call at 314-638-6500 OPTION 4.
Dropped Object Prevention Options for Tools and Equipment
Tool tethers come in a variety of options for just about any hand tool or power tool. They include:
- Fall protection for helmets and hard hats
- Wrist lanyards (only for lightweight tools)
- Coil or retractable tool lanyards
- Radio/cell phone holsters with lanyards
- Anti-vibration tool shackles
- Hoist buckets and bags
PRO TIP: When attaching a tethering eye or drop security ring to a power tool, the attachment should never compromise the integrity of the tool, impact the tool’s function or create safety hazards.
Safety Solutions from Metabo: Power Tools with Built-In Drop Security Rings
We carry a variety of industrial-grade power tools from Metabo that come ready with a drop security ring for tethering. Give us a call and we’ll help you select the right tool for your applications. Learn more.
5’’ Quick DS Angle Grinder (14.5 AMPS)
Powerful, yet compact, the 5’’ Quick DS Angle Grinder can be used for heavy-duty material removal or light grinding applications. Has the Metabo LongLife Motor with patented dust guard, for up to 20% more high overload capacity and 50% more torque. Comes with a steel eye for a carabiner to secure the angle grinder from falling when working at heights.
5’’ Quick RT DS Grinder (14.5 AMPS)
The 5’’ Quick RT DS Grinder combines maximum productivity with strong power and a low-weight design and slim grip for better handling and ergonomics. It has the Metabo LongLife Motor with a new cooling and carbon brush system for double the service life. It comes with a steel ring for a carabiner to secure the angle grinder from falling when working at heights.
6’’ Quick DS Angle Grinder (14.5 AMPS)
The 6’’ Quick DS Angle Grinder has the power and compact usability you’re used to with the 5” model but with a 6” set-up and longer service life with more drive. Quick disc change at the push of a button. Comes with a steel ring for a carabiner to secure the angle grinder from falling when working at heights.
6’’ Quick RT DS Grinder (14.5 AMPS)
The 6’’ Quick RT DS Grinder combines maximum productivity with strong power and a low-weight design and slim grip for better handling and ergonomics. It has the Metabo LongLife Motor with a new cooling and carbon brush system for double the service life. Like many other Metabo grinders, it features the Tacho-Constamatic (TC)-Full Wave Electronics for fast work progress by means of constant speed under load. Comes with a steel ring for a carabiner to secure the angle grinder from falling when working at heights.
7‘’ RT DS Angle Grinder (15 AMPS)
The 7‘’ RT DS Angle Grinder is the mother of all angle grinders and the most powerful option with a full 1,900 watts for industrial welded seam processing and a cutting depth similar to a large angle grinder at just half the weight of others. Ideal ergonomics and the Metabo LongLife Motor with new cooling and carbon brush system offers double the service life and comfortability. It comes with a steel ring for a carabiner to secure the angle grinder from falling when working at heights.
Give us a call at 314-638-6500 OPTION 4 and speak to a knowledgeable representative today!
Tool Tether Inspection Checklist
Just like fall protection designed to protect workers, tool tethering systems must be inspected regularly to prevent failure and make the most out of your fall protection plan. Always follow manufacturer recommendations for inspection and replacement. Be sure to:
- Check stitching and webbing for cuts, tears, burns and damage.
- Check security rings or tethering eyes for signs of wear or damage.
- Check hardware for corrosion, rust, damage or cracks.
- Check carabiners, swivels, buckles and hardware for proper functioning.
- Check the readability of labels and product markings or descriptions.
- Replace all tool tethering-related components when involved in a fall.
Superior Industrial Supply knows how important it is to have durable and reliable equipment for your most demanding applications. We also understand how important a safe work site is to your business. Give us a call at 314-638-6500 OPTION 4 or 800-783-6501 and let us know how we can help you find the products, services and advice you need to do just that.