What Does Objects at Heights Mean?
Objects at heights, also known as dropped or falling objects, can be explained as a situation where objects fall to a lower level, causing severe personal injury to anyone in the path of the fall. Dropped objects can in fact be fatal to anyone present on work premises.
There are two types of dropped objects: static dropped objects, which refer to objects that fall due to degradation, vibration, and structural failure, and dynamic falling objects, which refer to objects that fall due to the application of force or handling.
Safeopedia Explains Objects at Heights
Falling objects have been a problem for as long as gravitational force has existed. Though this problem is inevitable, organizations cannot afford for this to happen. Therefore, employers make sure that all preventive measures are taken into consideration while working at height.
The phenomenon of falling objects is common in the construction industry. However, it can become an issue within any occupation where workers are to work at height. According to statistics, injury caused by falling objects occurs every 10 minutes. Workers are highly vulnerable to falling objects if overhead work is performed with heavy and sharp tools such as a hammer.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), following the below precautions can attenuate the risk of falling objects:
- Workers should wear hard hats when overhead work is performed. Materials should be stacked securely to prevent static fall. Toe boards, debris nets, and other catch tools should be used to grab falling objects.
- Workers must use personal protective equipment (PPE) such as safety glasses and face masks while using machines that can produce flying objects.
- Employers must assess that workers are well-trained in handling power tools while performing at height.
- Barricades should be erected to alert others about hazardous work zones.
- Tools, cranes, and hoists should be inspected before use to make sure that they are in a good condition.
- Lifting capacity of cranes should never be exceeded.