When working at heights, tethering tools and equipment is a no-brainer. Even a bolt can become deadly if it has enough vertical velocity.
Check out this video on how to prevent dropped objects. And if your next job is 6 feet or more off the ground, follow the tool-tethering tips below.
Tips for working at heights
- Assess tools and equipment: If your tools don’t have secure connection points for tethering, you can create a retro-fit tethering solution using tool connectors. Choose a loop for a more permanent connection and a carabiner for when you need to exchange tools quickly.
- Find appropriate anchor points: Consult your job site’s Safety Manager to find appropriate anchor points for tethered tools. Don’t attach a lanyard’s connector to a D-ring actively being used for fall protection or positioning, and do not connect to breakaway connections, like lanyard keepers, when tethering a tool to your body harness.
- Make sure anchor points are separated: Connect to a separate anchor point and not the worker. Also, avoid connecting a tool weighing more than 10 pounds to a worker. Use lanyards with shock-absorbing characteristics, and are labeled with capacity, manufacturer information and warnings.
- Hoist equipment whenever possible: The container and handle must be individually rated for the intended load. And if you can, use mechanical means for hoisting. You may carry small tools and equipment as long as you are able to maintain three points of contact when climbing at all times.
- Use 100 percent tie-off: Do this when transferring tethered tools to another container or a fellow worker. If that’s not an option, transfer carefully over a platform to prevent tools from falling.
- Inspect your objects and heights equipment daily: Do this before and after each use, and designate someone to conduct monthly equipment inspections.