Lightweight tools have to be tethered by lanyards to prevent dropping them from heights. This will reduce incidents and possbible injuries on the worksite.
There have been several incidents reported where portable equipment such as radios, gas detectors and digital cameras have been dropped from height.
Tool cabinets for work at height are now readily available and employed on many facilities. Unfortunately, a number of irregularities have been observed regarding securing, control and registration of tools.
Work operations often involve work at height. Many operations therefore contain an element of risk as:
In the remaining part we distinguish between the securing of personnel working at height, the securing of permanent equipment, and the securing of tools and parts that are used at height during a work operation.
Ideally, all work should be carried out on the ground or at a level where all edges and openings can be secured to prevent persons or objects falling to a lower level. Where there is a requirement to work at height, you must refer to your Employer’s Work at Height Policy and Procedures.
These procedures will ensure compliance with relevant legislation on securing of personnel, erection of working platforms, over-the-side work, ladders, hoists, tools and other devices. Other key considerations such as access control, safety equipment and rescue plans will also be covered.
However, dropped objects caused by failure to secure tools and equipment continue to happen whilst they are being carried to the worksite, used or stored at height. This includes radios, detectors, pens, gauges, hard hats, water bottles and many other personal items that really should be secured properly – or not taken aloft in the first place.
Some general tips:
• Select appropriate equipment
• Only use approved materials (approved scaffolding)
• Do not start work before you have checked that the equipment is in accordance with regulations
• Ensure that access to the area is restricted if necessary
• Use fall protection equipment if necessary (documented theoretical and practical training is a prerequisite)
• Secure equipment and tools
• When the work is finished, a final check and inventory count must be carried out to ensure that no tools, equipment or materials are left behind at height
Note: Remember, if the task cannot be undertaken at ground level and you must work at height, refer immediately to your Employers Work at Height Policy or ask your supervisor for assistance.