Leading Edge Tool Safety Solutions
unit 4 Gosport Business Center Gosport, Hampshire po16 8nl
Phone: 01329 550 121

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Tool At Height

Tool At Height

Working at Height Means Also Protecting Those on the Ground

Working at height is dangerous business regardless of the industry you are involved in. So dangerous, in fact, that the UK has developed a stringent set of guidelines to help employers ensure the safety of their employees. These guidelines are effective in keeping workers safe in areas such as construction, petro-chemicals, energy, utilities, offshore oil and gas,and any other number of industries where working at height is a normal daily activity.

However, working at height is more than simply protecting your workers high off the ground. It is also about keeping your workers and the general public safe on the ground below you. It's extremely important therefore to provide solutions that will enable your employees to work at height while reducing the potential of dropping tools to the earth below. This is paramount because any tool can be a dangerous object if dropped from height.

Dangerous Physics

The study of physics is the study of moving objects and their properties, and the laws of physics dictate that a tool dropped from height accelerates as it falls through the air. The greater the distance of the fall, the more acceleration the object is subject to until it reaches what's known the point of terminal velocity. Not only that, the faster an object falls the more force will be behind it when it lands (expressed as "mass impact weight"). Based on a simple algebraic equation it becomes easy to see how something as innocuous as a screwdriver can become a deadly falling object if dropped from height.

For example, a screwdriver dropped at a height of 14m will attain a velocity of 61kph (38mph) by the time it reaches the ground. Running the numbers through the algebraic equation reveals that this driver, which only weighs a few ounces in reality, reaches a mass impact weight of 73.5kg - enough to kill a man even if he's wearing a hard hat. Obviously, the heavier the tool and the greater distance of its fall, the more deadly an object can become. (more...)

Regardless of the tool your workers are using - be it a hammer, tape measure, wrench, etc. - it is a potentially a deadly weapon if dropped from height. It's incumbent then for employers to search for the best ways to keep tools from falling to the ground. This can be achieved through the proper use of tool belts, lanyards, and tethers along with a proper barrier under workers which has been designed to be appropriate for the work at hand. The more safety implementations in place, the more you will reduce your risk of injuring someone with a dropped tool.

Follow Regulations

Government regulations and general suggestions are put out for employers and employees not simply as a means of making it difficult to work; they are put out to ensure everyone's safety. That means before any work begins, employers must do a safety risk assessment in order to determine where the greatest risks are. The safety assessment is required by law in most work at height scenarios, yet even if it weren't, common sense dictates that employers evaluate the risks to their employees, customers, the general public.

Regardless of how minor the rules or guidelines may seem it's incumbent upon all of your employees to follow them to the letter. It's also important that employees are properly trained in the use of equipment as well as following safety procedures. Companies that cut corners are increasing their risk of accidents, injuries, and deaths. The point here is the fact that the law exists for everyone's safety. Follow it.

Dependable Solutions

Since safety is such a strong concern for work at height companies, you need a supplier of dependable tool solutions. Again, you don't want your supplier to cut corners any more than you'd want your employees to.

Make sure all of your safety equipment and tools come from a supplier with a reputation for high quality and service. You should also look for a supplier who knows the law regarding working at height. If not, he might not know exactly what you need for your type of work, therefore selling you tools and accessories that are not appropriate
for your industry.

As an employer or a work at height employee, your conscientiousness towards safety will translate into a much safer environment for everyone involved. Make a commitment to working at height safely; a commitment that involves the proper restraining of tools and equipment. A safety-first attitude in you and your workers might possibly save someone's life.

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