Tools with a weight less than 5kg
Common Causes of Incidents: Improper Use, Home-made tools, Incorrect Securing, Operator Error, Snagging and Collisions, Environmental Factors (eg cold hands).
Best practice recommendations:
- All use of tools at height must be risk assessed
- All tools shall be secured against being dropped whilst they are being carried to the worksite, used or stored at height (use tool bag with internal loops when several and / or heavy tools are required)
- If an anchor point other than the belt or bag is required, use an appropriate part of the surrounding structure, preferably above the work level
- A weak link shall be installed between the body and safety wire when fall arrest devices are used. Weak links for tools weighing over 2 kg should not be used
- Tools heavier than 2 kg should not be secured to the body
- Wrist straps can be used for one tool weighing less than 1 kg, with a weak link
- For work on or near rotating machines or travelling equipment, all tools should always be secured to the adjacent structure
- Attachment points/ devices on tools and bags must be documentable (not all apertures on handles are actually rated tie-off points)
- All connectors/snap hooks/carabiners must be made of acid proof steel (AISI 316), include screw lock or self-lock gates and include captive eyes (see also Page 18)
- Lanyards on tools attached to the body should ideally be energy-absorbing (fall damper)
- The standard use of wrist lanyards is discouraged, however, it is recognised that they may be appropriate to specific tasks, eg within confined spaces
- Velcro wrist lanyards are discouraged as the integrity of the fastening can be affected by the work environment
- Tools used at height should be checked out/in (ref. Tool cabinets for work at height) to ensure that nothing is left behind.
Tools with a weight more than 5kg
Common Causes of Incidents: Poor Risk Assessment, Improper Use, Home-made tools, Incorrect Securing, Operator Error, Snagging and Collisions, Environmental Factors (cold hands!).
Best practice recommendations:
- All use of heavy tools and hand-held machenery where equipment may fall to an underlying level must be risk assessed
- Only certified lifting equipment shall be used as securing devices
- All heavy tools and hand-held machinery used at height must be secured against being dropped, both when in use and while being transported
- Securing points for tools and machinery must be in place above the work site, attached to the surrounding structure not to scaffolding
- Tools heavier than 2 kg should not be secured to the body, secure them to the adjacent worksite structure
- One piece sledge hammers (forged construction with secured head) should be used at height
- If an attachment point other than the belt or bag is required, use an appropriate part of the surrounding structure, preferably above the work level
- The securing wire must be as shorts as possible to reduce shock loading effect
- Energy absorbing lanyards and thethers can stretch beyond the safe calculations or drop distance, therefore fixed securing wires should be used on heavy tools at height, according to the work environment.
- Only certified lifting equipment shall be used as securing devices (where appropriate)
- Fastenings on tools shall be energy-absorbing (fall damper)
- Tools used at height should be check out/in to ensure that nothing is left behind
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