For as long as gravity existed, dropped objects have been an issue. On worksites, this term can take on a very specific meaning and can be defined as:
A tool, gear or instrument that workers bring to heights, or any object on a worksite that may fall on its own because of weight, gravity or contact.
Falling objects can hurt people, property or the environment, and when dropped from an elevation can have the impact force of a much bigger tool that has the potential to cause major injuries.
For example, if one of your workers drops a 5-pound tool from a height of 50 feet, the object will hit something below with a whooping force of 708 pounds. It’s also crucial to consider the fact that it may not always fall straight down, so all individuals below need to be protected and trained on this topic.
THE REAL COST OF FALLING OBJECTS
Dropped objects on a construction site cause significant injuries and fatalities every day. They’re unfortunately quite usual and lead to rising costs, thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths.1
PREVENTING DROPPED OBJECTS
There are several initiatives one can take to prevent falling objects, such as having the right safety protocols, a good fall protection training program and the right equipment.
Every worksite should have its own safety procedures to follow to prevent dropped objects from causing damage or harming anyone. The protocol should emphasize prevention while offering several protection options, such as the right gear or safety nets.
A good fall protection training program is key to understanding the risks and how to prevent them. Including falling objects as a topic will offer workers a more comprehensive idea of the hazards that they could be facing and also the action items they need to take to prevent them.
Workers should be required to comprehend that their actions can directly affect the safety of others. They should be wearing the right fall protection equipment and also have a complete tethering system. Transporting tools or objects in a safe manner will also reduce the probability that they will be dropped. Anchor attachments, tool attachment, tool tethers or containers are great dropped tools prevention equipment.
Everyone working at heights or on a construction site needs to be fully aware of the danger they could be facing and how to prevent them. Security is always a top priority!
1 Dropped Objects Safety & Prevention