Dropping tools from a considerable height has emerged as a significant safety concern in recent years. If a one pound tool is dropped from 30 feet, it will take just 2 seconds to hit the floor. A screwdriver that is dropped from just 10 feet can potentially be lethal. In order to minimize the incidence of tools falling from a height the following recommendations are offered:

  • Do everything that you can reasonably do to prevent an object from falling
  • Ensure that nothing is thrown or tipped from a height if there is even a slight chance that someone below may get injured
  • If there is an area in the workplace where there is a possibility of a person being struck by a falling object, the danger area must be clearly marked and, if possible, blocked off to traffic below
  • Tools should either be tethered to a secure fixed object while working at height or have a lanyard attached which is worn on the body
  • Tethers need to be both user friendly and work appropriate
  • Supervisors of work sites need to be aware of the full range of tethering options available and select the best one that is appropriate to the job at hand
  • Tools that are heavier than 5 pounds should not be tethered to a person