DROPPED OBJECT PREVENTION
How to create tool tethering solutions for your tools and work applications, and how to appropriately attach tools to tethers for the prevention of dropped tools.
TERMINOLOGY AND DEFINITIONS OF DROPPED OBJECT PREVENTION
Tool Attachments – Solutions applied to tools and equipment for creating an attachment point that allows tools to be tethered.
Tool Tethers – Lanyard, with at least one connector on each end designed to connect a tool to an appropriate anchor point.
Anchor – Attachment points on structures, equipment, or a worker themselves to create secure connection points for tool tethers.
Containers – Solutions such as bags, buckets, or pouches used to transport tools, equipment, or parts to-and-from heights.
UNDERSTANDING COMMON TOOL FEATURES
Common hand and power tools have varying features that can accommodate a direct tool tether connection or require the installation of a tool attachment to connect a tool tether.
Understanding and pointing out the differences between tools will allow you to choose the best tool tethering solutions to fit your tools and work applications. Below are examples of common hand tools with varying features.
open handle Tools
Closed/Open Handle Power Tools
HOW IMPORTANT ARE TOOL TETHERS?
Information and Updates on Regulations
WHAT IS ANSI/ISEA 121-2018?
The ANSI/ISEA 121-2018 Standard is the first standard to establish design, testing and performance criteria for products designed to prevent dropped objects in the workplace. The standard addresses equipment used to tether and/or contain hand tools, components, structure and other objects from falling when working at heights.
ANSI/ISEA 121-2018 is establishing industry best practice of tool tethering equipment. Although ANSI/ISEA 121-2018 is not enforceable by OSHA, it does not mean you can ignore it. The standard falls under the “General Duty Clause”, if you are investigated over a dropped object injury. Any investigatory body will look to see if you were following the industry best practice.
WHAT DOES ANSI/ISEA 121-2018 COVER?
The ANSI/ISEA Standard outlines 4 categories of equipment that are covered;
- Anchor Attachments – Attachment solutions applied onto fixed anchor locations like a structure or a worker themselves to create secure connection points for tool tethers.
- Tool Attachments – Solutions applied to tools and equipment being used at height that allows them to be tethered.
- Tool Tethers – Lanyard, with at least one connector on each end that will connects a tool to an anchor point
- Containers – Bags, buckets, or pouches used to transport tools, equipment, or parts to-and-from work areas at height.
WHAT DOES ANSI/ISEA 121-2018 NOT COVER?
The standard does not address passive preventive solutions such as:
- Toe Boards
- Head Protection
- Foot Protection
- Eye Protection
FACTS ABOUT DROPPED TOOLS
HOW TO TELL IF A PRODUCT IS ANSI/ISEA 121-2018 COMPLIANT. (MARKING & LABEL REQUIREMENTS)
The following information shall be on labeling permanently attached to all solutions, and must be visible and legible.
- Name, Trademark or other means of identification of the manufacturer
- Product identification (i.e. number, date code, and/or serial number)
- Published capacity, identified by weight
- Number of this specific ANSI standard
- Tether length (for tool tethers only)
- Max tether length (for anchor points, attachments and if applicable, containers)