17 Jun 20

How to Create a Tool Attachment Point for Tool Tethering – Toolbox Talks



Ergodyne Objects at Heights Toolbox Talks

Toolbox Talks are intended to facilitate worksite health and safety conversations. Click here to download talking points on the basics of creating tethering attachment points on your tools to prevent dropped objects.

With 52,000 injuries, 278 fatalities and hundreds of millions of dollars lost annually, the time for Dropped Object Prevention is now.

And not to break the hearts of the wannabe-MacGyvers out there, but improving these statistics is going to take more than duct tape and string. Thanks to ANSI/ISEA 121, tethering tools is now a legitimized operation — complete with design, testing, performance and labeling requirements intended to increase safety while working at height.

This Toolbox Talk will get you into the game. Teaching workers what to look for on their tools and presenting a variety of solutions for those tools will lead to creation of effective tool tethering systems that are unique to your worksite and needs.

TOOL ANATOMY 101

The first phase of tethering tools is analyzing the characteristics of the tools being used. This enables you to choose the best possible solution for preventing dropped objects.

STEP 1: Identify Tool Type

Tool type and geometry (shape/body type) will help determine whether your tool can be directly tethered to a lanyard or if a trapped connection point needs to be applied and, in the case of the latter, what type of retrofit connector is needed.

Ergodyne Tool Tethering

Primary Tool Types

  • Hand Tools: Tools with a natural, fully enclosed hole or handle built into the body (e.g., adjustable wrenches, hand saws, pipe wrenches)
  • Power Tools: Tools requiring a power source to operate — most often a removable battery or cord (e.g., drills, impact drivers, grinders)
  • Instruments: Tools with specific interfaces for measuring, testing, communicating or lighting (e.g., tape measures, radios, cell phones, voltage meters)
  • Other: Tools or equipment that don’t fall into the other categories (e.g., PPE, clamps, canisters, water bottles)

Tool Geometry Types

  • Captive Hole or Handle: Tool has enclosed hole or engineered handle
  • Captive Waist or Neck: Tool has inner midsection between two thicker ends
  • Non-Captive: Tool has no captive geometry — consists of open ended handle or other design

Ergodyne Tool Tethering Hand Tools

STEP 2: Measure Tool Weight

Measure the weight of each tool (do not guess!) and mark that weight on each tool or in your equipment log. All Ergodyne Objects-at-Heights solutions, specifically dropped object prevention solutions, are built with a specified capacity marked on the product. You will need to compare the weight of the tool to the capacity of each solution.

Step 3: Measure Tool Size

Use a caliper, tape measure or ruler to measure the size and determine what type of tool attachments are needed. For open ended and waisted tools, measure the diameter (thickness) of the area you would like to apply the connection. For captive tools, measure the size of the captive connection point to determine the appropriate tool lanyard connector.

Step 4: Record It

Document all information in a tool inventory log.

TOOL TRAPPING: HOW TO CREATE TOOL ATTACHMENT POINT

Dropped Object Prevention Best Practices involve the Three T’s:

  • Trapping: Creating connection points
  • Tethering: Connecting tools to an anchor
  • Topping: Covering open containers

Most tools do not come with a built-in, secure attachment point. In these cases, you need to retrofit a safe connection point to the tool. This is called trapping.

Start by choosing the appropriate attachment based on determined tool anatomy.

Hand Tools:

Power Tools:

Instruments:

INSTALLING SQUIDS® TOOL TAILS

Tool Tails are the unsung hero of most fall protection systems, tethering tools like utility knives, small levels, speed squares, insulated pliers and other objects with small captive holes.

Ergodyne Tool Attachment - Loop

Ergodyne Tool Attachment - Wire

Ergodyne Tool Attachment - Elastic

INSTALLING SQUIDS® HAND TOOL TRAPS

Connection points can be tricky to find on smaller hand tools like screwdrivers and hex keys. That’s where Squids® Slips® come in.

Ergodyne Tool Attachment - Slips

INSTALLING SQUIDS® SHACKLE TRAPS

U-shaped Tool Shackles connect to waisted/necked tools (with tapered mid sections) or tools with captive holes, creating clean, secure attachment points for tethering.

Ergodyne Tool Attachment - drings

D-Ring Size Chart

INSTALLING SQUIDS® TAPE TRAPS

When all else fails, tape it up. Squids® Self-Adhering Tape Traps provide added security and grip for a variety of hand tools without requiring heat for adherence.

Ergodyne Tool Attachment - Tape

Ergodyne Tool Attachment - Tail and Tape

INSTALLING SQUIDS® COLD SHRINK TRAPS

Tool too large or heavy for a tape trap? Enter, Squids® Cold Shrink Traps. These handy solutions create secure tool attachment points instantly and with ease.

Ergodyne Tool Attachment - Cold Shrink

INSTALLING SQUIDS® POWER TOOL TRAPS

The power tool trap securely wraps around the battery portion of drills, impact drivers and other cordless power tools. D-ring connection point attaches to a tool lanyard to prevent drops.

Ergodyne Tool Attachment - Drill Holster

INSTALLING SQUIDS® BRACKETS

The Power Tool Bracket creates a unique tool attachment point to tether corded and cordless grinder power tools with a tool lanyard.

Ergodyne Tool Attachment - Brackets

USING SQUIDS® TAPE MEASURE TRAP

The tape measure trap securely wraps around most standard tape measures, with a D-ring that attaches to a tool lanyard for dropped object prevention.

Ergodyne Tool Attachment - Tape Measure

USING SQUIDS® SLEEVES

Safely bring your devices to heights with water-resistant phone and tablet traps, as well as water bottles and canisters with adjustable neoprene sleeves.

Ergodyne Tool Attachment - Cell Phone

ergodyne-tool-attachment-holsters

TALK TO YOUR CREW

What good is all this knowledge if you don’t share it? Taking a few minutes before a shift to educate your crew on how to safely tether tools for working at heights is a simple yet effective measure for reducing risk and boosting productivity.

Share this PDF with your crew to educate them on creating tool attachment points

Download Toolbox Talks

LEARN EVEN MORE

All of that is a lot better than duct tape and string, right? And to think, this is only one-third of the Dropped Object Prevention trapping-tethering-topping puzzle. For a deeper dive into tool tethering and the statistics around workplace safety at-heights, check out our Dropped Objects Safety & Prevention Guide.