Fall Protection for Tools - Is it Necessary?

Welcome back to Feature Friday! This week we are once again joined by Fall Protection Specialist, Brent Barkhouse, to discuss the 3M™ DBI-Sala® Fall Protection for Tools lineup, and to discuss the importance of this equipment.

Why is Fall Protection for Tools So Important

While still relatively new to industry, one of the more important topics surrounding "working at heights" in recent years is the impact force of dropped tools and equipment. Although it often gets overlooked, an object dropped from even just 6 feet above the ground can lead to serious or even fatal outcomes depending on its weight. Tool tethers, anchor attachments, containers/tool buckets and other securing accessories for equipment play a critical role in keeping workers at ground level safe.

How Much Force a Falling Tool Generates

This infographic shows the relative weight of an object falling from various distances and the severity the impact could cause
Fallen Object Impact Force - Measured in lbs. per sq" (view enlarged image)

How Far Can a Dropped Object From Heights Travel?

Another important factor to consider on equipment drops besides height is the path an object can take when it falls from various heights. The graphic below shows the possible trajectories an 8.3 lbs tool can experience on a fall, and the horizontal distance it can travel from its original drop point.

This is important because if we combine the information in the graphics both above and below, we can speculate that an 8.3 lbs object dropped from 100 feet or more has the potential to injure not only fellow workers, but also nearby public spaces with civilians. This can have rather destructive outcomes.

This graphic shows the possible trajectory of a fallen object that deflects at different heights
Fallen Object Trajectory (view enlarged image)

What Can You Do to Work Safe at Heights?

To help ensure your equipment won't become a hazard, there are a few safety measures that can be taken:

  1. Utilize proper equipment tethering and avoid makeshift tethers; it is the key to ensuring tools and gear do not experience a fall. It is also important to assess the tool attachment points to ensure they are being secured properly.
  2. Use tool buckets with secured seals to transport or store equipment and spare parts at greater heights.
  3. Tether your hard hat. Some may overlook the importance of this precaution since hard hats are fastened through their suspension system, but incidents have been known to happen. A hard hat tether will give you peace of mind that if your hard hat gets bumped off, it's not going very far.
  4. Lastly, we recommend assessing the rest of the items you're bringing with you at heights to ensure everything is secured. This includes water bottles, your radio, your phone and any other miscellaneous items you might need to bring with you. By following these guides you can play your part in limiting workplace injuries.

Rest assured the 3M™ DBI-SALA® lineup of fall protection for tools has everything you need to keep your equipment secured to you or your work area, and you'll find these products at MacMor.

This graphic shows some of the 3M™ DBI-Sala® Fall Protection for Tools products available at MacMor
3M™ DBI-Sala® Fall Protection for Tools (view enlarged image)

Contact Us

MacMor Industries has a wide selection of products to help keep your equipment secured during work at heights, so don't hesitate to contact us if you're interested to find out more about these items; our Safety Specialists would be more than happy to assess your fall protection needs.