Dropped Objects - The New Standard on Jobsites
Tool Drop Safety is No Longer a Recommendation, It is Now REQUIRED!
The New ANSI/ISEA 121-2018 Dropped Objects Protection Standard
For years, the leading cause of death on construction jobsites has been Falls & Struck by Object accidents. To help change this deadly trend and to protect workers across the country, the American National Standards Association (ANSI) approved the NEW ANSI/ISEA 121-2018 standard for Dropped Objects Protection. This standard establishes minimum design, performance, testing, and labeling requirements for equipment solutions that reduce dropped objects incidents in industrial and occupation settings.
Dropped Objects Include
- Hand Tools
- Power Tools
- Small Parts
- Structural Components
- Other Items that need to be transferred & used at heights
With more than 50,000 "struck by falling object" OSHA recordable incidents every year, that calculates out to 1 injury caused by a dropped object every 10 minutes.
Make the Change Today
No longer is it recommended to use tool drop safety equipment, but OSHA now requires that if you work in an environment where there is a risk of falling objects, you must do the following:
- Secure tools and materials to prevent them from falling on people below
- Barricade hazard areas and post warning signs
- Use toe boards, screens on guardrails or scaffolds to prevent falling objects
- Use debris nets, catch platforms, or canopies to catch or deflect falling objects
Is Tool Drop Protection Really Necessary?
The simple answer is the only answer, YES! The simple act of a wrench slipping out of your hand seems harmless enough... But what happens if this were to occur when you are on the 2nd floor, 5th floor, or the 20th floor?! When these dropped object hazards occur there are two primary types of falling object incidents: direct impact and deflections.
An 8.3 lb. wrench dropped from 10 feet will reach a speed of 17 MPH, from 50 feet that speed reaches 39 MPH with an impact force of 1,660 lbs. And from 200 feet... the wrench will reach 77 MPH and an impact force of 5,540! Simply put, if this wrench were to strike a fellow worker, things will not end well.
The second type of dropped object incident is deflections, these dropped objects can pose just as great a risk as a direct impact object. This is because a deflected object can travel 100's of feet horizontally after striking an object or surface on the way to the ground. The worksite will have "drop zones" set up to protect workers from dropped objects, but it is unlikely that these "drop zones" will account for this hazard, leading to unsuspecting and unprepared victims.
What Do I Need to Start My Tool Drop Safety Plan?
To get compliant and keep your fellow workers safe, you will want to follow the 3 point tool drop, prevention model. You can start by shopping for tether-ready power tools or tether-ready hand tools. These drop prevention tools are specially engineered with tool drop attachment point preassembly to the tools making them ready for a lanyard or tether. Tether-ready tools allow users to jump directly to Point 2 of the tool drop prevention model - Connections. After your tool is properly connected with a lanyard or tether, you will want to choose the proper anchoring system depending on the weight of your tool.
For tools that weigh over 5 lbs. you will need to use "Off-Body" Anchors like a railing, scaffolding, or any other approved tie-off location. Tool weighing under 5 lbs. can be anchored by "On-Body" Anchors like:
- Spill Control Buckets
Retrofit Your Own Tools
If you would like to use your own existing tools, you will have to follow the 3 point tool drop prevention model from the start. Starting with Point 1 - Attachment Points, you will need to retrofit with an approved tool drop attachment point. When installing the attachment point, you will need to be sure you choose the correct attachment for the tool's size, weight, shape, and other physical features. In addition, you will need to make sure that the attachment point will not hinder the use of the tool at all during work. For additional information on Retrofitting Your Tools, please check out our Retrofit Information Page.