What are Dropped Objects?

The definition of a dropped object is straightforward. Dropped objects are anything that falls from it’s initial position. There are two types of Dropped Objects; Static and Dynamic. A Static Dropped Object is when an object falls from its initial position without any outside force applied. A Dynamic Dropped Object is when an object falls from its initial position because an outside force was applied to the object.

                                       

What are the Dangers of Dropped Objects?

 Although the concept of Dropped Objects is pretty simple, the dangers of Dropped Objects are often overlooked. Workers often consider themselves the victims instead of the cause of Dropped Objects. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 50,000 “struck by fallen object” recordables each year in the United States. Dropped Objects can result in fatal accidents, depending on the size of the object and the height that it is dropped. Something as small as a bolt could cause serious damage if dropped at a significant height.

 Causes of Dropped Objects

 There are many reasons why an object might fall. These Include:


•  Ignoring unsafe conditions

•  Failure to identify dropped object hazards

•  Improperly secured tools

•  Moving equipment

Prevention of Dropped Objects

 Unfortunately, some companies are not proactive enough to save the workers affected by these Dropped Objects. Companies that are not proactive often purchase the proper PPE after the tragedy. Tethering tools while working in the air can help prevent dropping objects, and potentially injuring someone or something below. Tools used to prevent Dropped Objects: 
•  Cables
•  Chains
•  Ropes
•  Webbing


Tools can be tethered to anything to prevent dropping them. Like regular fall protection, tools need an anchor point and a lanyard.  Tools can be anchored to railings, worker hoist buckets, and more.  If the object is less than 10 pounds, it may be anchored to the worker’s body. It is unsafe to anchor heavier tools to workers’ bodies because the tools could drag them down! The anchor point can be any fixed point that the tool is attached to. The lanyard will connect the tool and the anchor point so that if the object is dropped, it will not injure anyone below the work site. Some lanyards are shock absorbent. These shock absorbent lanyards will reduce the amount of force exerted on the body if the object is dropped.

 

The tether point, anchor point, and tool lanyard should be classified to the weight of the tool. Tool tethering kits are available to get the essential tethering products all together. It is crucial that the tethering equipment be regularly inspected. Once a tool is dropped and caught by the tethering system, the tether should be replaced to reduce the risk of damage and injury.

 

 

 

Benefits of Tool Tethering

 

Aside from the fact that Tool Tethering saves the lives of people below the work site, there are other benefits of tethering tools and objects while working from height. Thinking ahead and being proactive about dropped objects can reduce the cost of damaged tools that need to be replaced. Tethered tools allow for more organization. Each worker will know exactly where their tools are located. Time can be used more effectively, resulting in a more productive worker.