The Three Ts Of Object At Height Safety

By Safeopedia Staff
Last updated: January 15, 2024

What Does The Three Ts Of Object At Height Safety Mean?

The Three T’s of Object at Height Safety refers to the three concepts that are the primary hazard controls used to prevent workplace injuries from falling objects.

The three T’s are:

  • Trapping: installing attachment points to tools so they can be securely tethered
  • Tethering: using a lanyard to secure a tool to an anchoring point
  • Topping: using secure containers for tools and materials so they won’t fall out when being carried or transported

It is also known as the Three T’s of Dropped Object Safety.

Safeopedia Explains The Three Ts Of Object At Height Safety

The concept of the three T’s is one element of larger efforts to prevent injuries due to objects falling from heights.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 45,000 workplace injuries due to falling objects are reported each year. In 2021, the BLS recorded 227 fatalities due to workers being struck by falling objects or equipment, representing 4.5% of all workplace fatalities in the United States.


Many tools do not have suitable attachments points that can be used to securely affix a lanyard.

Purpose-built trapping devices fix this problem by retrofitting attachment points on tools that don’t already have them.


Tethering is the aspect of dropped object safety that most people are familiar with. In involves attaching a tool to an appropriate anchor point, whether in the work environment (such as a guardrail) or on the user (such as a toolbelt). This prevents the tethered item from falling an unsafe distance if it is dropped.

There are multiple types of tethers with various designs. But the main safety feature they all share is the length and sturdiness required to limit the distance an object can fall.


Topping is about ensuring that tools and materials are moved in containers that can be securely closed at the top.

These containers are typically either tool pouches or hoist buckets. The top can be secured with a zipper, Velcro flap, or some other locking mechanism.

Some topping containers will also have a D-rings and other attachments to secure tools and items that are too big and prevent the bucket from being zipped shut. That way, even if the container tips, the contents don’t fall out.



The Three Ts of Dropped-Object Safety

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