Dropped Objects Mitigation Controls

Mitigating controls - reduce the consequences of an incident if preventive controls fail or are not effective.

Tool and Object Fall Zones

For example the floor areas should be designated as one of three zones:
Green, Yellow, or Red:
Green Zone – Anyone may enter as long as no additional barriers are in place.
Yellow Zone – Authorized personnel with tasks in the area may enter.
All other personnel require permission to enter or
work in this area.
Red Zone – Only authorised personnel who are required for the current task / operation.
All other personnel are strictly not permitted in this area at any time.
Designated zones should have signs at all access points and access diagrams

Safety tools that should be used prevent and mitigate dropped tools and objects

THINK - Use this to plan the job, to carry out risk assessment, method statements and apply controls
START - Use this tool to monitor the job
TIME OUT FOR SAFETY (TOFS) - Stop the job and re-assess when changes occur
INSPECTIONS - Carry out periodic inspections as advised in the method statement

Dropped Tool Awareness

It is commonly recognised that hand tools can be grouped into three causes of tools being dropped:

Why provide for tool tethering?

Hand tools used during work at height may potentially be dropped very easily. As a preventive measure, tools should be secured using a lanyard to the user.

When correctly used, this will prevent the items from dropping during use or transportation. Furthermore, the lanyard also cuts down the possibility of tools being lost, misplaced or left behind on completion.

It is strongly recommended that specialist rated tool tether’s which include a lanyard is used, making certain the actual performance of the tool use is maintained without difficulty to the operative.

Safeguarding yourself, co-workers and members of the public from the risk of being struck by falling objects can be achieved with appropriate risk assessment and the implementation of suitable control measures.

An effective system will benefit the company and its workforce by:-

Author: Drew Beardmore October 2011

Tool Safety Catalogue
Tool Safety Roadmap
Tool Safety Roadmap