St. Paul, Minn. (May 8, 2017) – As he tells it, Cody Tilley was working 30 feet in the air, applying pressure to a pipe, when the 24-inch wrench he was using suddenly slipped. Cody caught himself, but had to drop his tool to do so. Fortunately, it had a Squids® Tool Lanyard attached. Had Cody not had the foresight to tether his tool first, it would have struck his co-worker below right in the face – and might have killed him.
“[It’s] an absolutely amazing tool to have if you want to protect your coworkers and/or buddies,” he wrote.
Today marks the start of the National Safety Stand-Down, OSHA’s annual week-long campaign to prevent falls in construction. While the focus is on preventing worker falls, real-world stories like Cody’s exemplify how falling tools and equipment also pose a serious threat to the health and well-being of workers and workplace equipment below.
“Even workers with the surest hands have accidents,” said Nate Bohmbach, associate product director, Ergodyne. “Good fall protection programs include a plan for preventing dropped objects.”
The fact is, practically any tool or object – no matter how miniscule – becomes dangerous when dropped from heights. Sadly, that’s why dropped objects killed 247 people in 2015.
One reason why many workplaces haven’t readily responded to this complicated hazard is due to a lack of formal industry guidance about it. With a forthcoming standard in the works, however, that will change soon.
“Dropped objects is a universal hazard that plagues worksites worldwide,” said Tom Votel, president and CEO, Ergodyne. “We’re proud to have been an industry pioneer years ago and an active participant in the creation of this standard today.
“We’re hopeful that our obsession with making stronger solutions will ultimately result in a better, safer workplace with zero drops.”