Injuries and fatalities resulting from dropped tools are a growing concern in all at-height industries. Many general contractors and tower owners are now requiring tools to be tethered while on the job site. This week our Gear Experts® are going to break down the Quick Switch from Ty-Flot and how it can make tool tethering easier while on the job.
Before we break down the kit, we want to address some of the concerns about dropped objects. As we mentioned above, many GCs, tower owners, and other companies are requiring tool tethering on job sites. That’s because, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 50,000 “struck by falling object” OSHA reports are submitted every year. Not only is the person holding the tool at risk, but the people below, pedestrians outside the job site, equipment, and lost time are all at risk when tool tethering is not used.
ISEA/ANSI 121 Dropped Objects Prevention Standard
The ISEA/ANSI 121 Dropped Objects Prevention Standard was released in July of 2018 with the mission of setting safety requirements for the testing of at-height tool tethering equipment. While this standard does not require the use of tool tethers, it does ensure that as long as the tethering equipment you purchase has the ISEA/ANSI 121 badge, you can be sure that the tethers can handle the job. For more information about the Dropped Objects Prevention Standard, click here to check out our blog post.
Ty-Flot Quick Switch
The Ty-Flot Quick Switch is one of the most innovative solutions for 100% tool tie-off. This line of tool tethering equipment will ensure that you can stay safe on the job without sacrificing productivity. It's expert design allows you to retain the freedom to move your hands freely while working at height.
Dock and Switch
Keeping the ability for you to use your hands freely while still having 100% tool tie-off can be achieved thanks to Ty-Flot’s unique dock and switch system. There is a clip attached to the tool tether. The clip can be attached to the doc on a bolt bag or other Quick Ship attachment point or via the Quick Switch Wrist Straps. When the tether clip is attached to a dock it cannot be removed unless it is attached to another dock (see the video below for more information on how to dock the lanyard correctly).
The Ty-Flot Quick Switch system has another unique feature: it’s always contained on your wrist. Unlike other tool tethering systems, the Quick Switch has been designed with mobility in mind. Staying contained on your wrist provides other benefits as well. It greatly reduces the swing motion when a tool is dropped and it makes sharing tools with co-workers much easier – while still maintaining 100% tie-off.
The short tether reduces the risk of snagging and fatigue which is common in elastic tool tethers that are longer and attached to your belt. This increases the useful life of the tool tether and helps keep your replacement costs down. Don’t let the small size fool you, though, because this tool tether can hold up to 6 pounds. It’s compatible with Ty-Flot’s entire line of tool collars and any other tool collars available on the market.
→ Click here to see Ty-Flot Quick Switch Products
→ Click here to see our full selection of Ty-Flot tool tethering gear
→ Click here to see all of our tool tethering gear
→ Click here for more information on the ISEA/ANSI 121 Dropped Objects Prevention Standard
**The content of this blog is not intended to replace proper, in-depth training. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any equipment is used.
Ty-Flot Quick Switch: The Video
Gear Up with Gear Experts: The Podcast
If you haven’t already checked out Gear Up with Gear Experts, our podcast dedicated to at-height, industry, and construction, it is available for download! You can find it on all major podcast listening platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, + your favorite podcatcher of choice. And, you can head on over to gearexperts.com to follow us on social media, check out our detailed show notes, and sign up for updates.
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AB Chance Capstan Hoists are manufactured in the USA. They’re built to last and basically do one job. And, they do that one job really, really well.
Make things easy for yourself by rigging one of these catheads to the back of your truck and get to lifting. They deliver high torque rope pulling muscle and do it with ultimate precision. Using the foot control, you can move a load in small increments to get it exactly where you need it. Once you have it there, use the optional rope lock device to keep it there.
The capstan’s design is made to handle rugged jobs. It might be compact, portable, and lightweight, but it’s made for heavyweight tasks. And, because of its size, it fits into remote and difficult to access work sites.
Pair it up with the AB Chance Capstan Hitch Mount and the Swivel and C-Bracket and you’ve got a powerhouse, truck-mounted lifting solution. The unique swivel bracket allows you to swing the capstan to the correct angle, even if you can’t align your truck perfectly. The great thing about this bracket is it is very easy to use. No kicking and yanking to get the capstan positioned. Just pull the pin and swivel it into position.
On the top of the capstan is the specially designed rope hook. It may look like a handle, but it serves a very special purpose. It wraps around the end of the drum, preventing the rope from slipping off in the event the line slides down the drum. If your rope hook is damaged or misplaced… no worries. Grab yourself a replacement.
The optional rope lock device is a must-add accessory. Once you have it attached, you don’t have to worry about the rope leaving the drum. While you’re lifting, the rope travels through the lock easily, but once the capstan stops turning, the device grabs the rope and holds it in place.
For more information, check out the official tutorial on setting up your AB Chance Capstan hoist. We brought in an expert from Hubbell Power Systems, one of the designers behind the cathead and mounting system, to make an instructional video, to walk you through setup and use of the capstan. And as always, give us a call or chat us online for any more questions.
Hard hats, or safety helmets, are one of the most recognizable pieces of safety equipment. Unfortunately, since they’re so common, they may not be inspected nearly enough. But a safety helmet must be in proper condition to do its intended job! And when you think about it, it's a piece of PPE that doesn’t cost much but provides huge protection.
They’re pretty durable, but they’re not indestructible. Knowing when a safety helmet needs to be replaced can be somewhat difficult to determine. When a pair of gloves wears too thin, or gets a rip, it’s obvious that they need to be tossed. A hard hat on the other hand, might not show any obvious signs when it needs to be replaced.
Although OSHA doesn’t have a specific service life guideline, many manufacturers do. And even then, the life span can vary greatly depending on the conditions the work is being done in. Let’s say, maybe a blog writer for a safety sales company has a hard hat that they wear out at tower sites once or twice a month for a few hours. That hard hat will probably last longer than the tower hand’s hard hat, which is being worn hundreds of feet in the air in every weather condition imaginable.
Depending on the brand and model, manufacturers recommend that hard hats be replaced anywhere from every 12 months to five years… so there’s no blanket rule. Materials deteriorate at different rates depending on high or low temperatures, sunlight, or chemicals. There’s no way to have a definitive lifespan. Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of the employer to make sure their workers are safe on the job, which is where an inspection plan comes into play.
A few quick inspections can be done every day by a worker.
- First, look over the shell for dents, cracks, gouges or any damage that could have been caused by impact, penetration or abrasion. Basically, you’re looking for something that would compromise the shell in any way. Also, check over the shell to verify that it hasn’t become brittle, stiff or faded at all. Overexposure to direct sunlight can cause this, so make sure the helmets aren’t being stored in the back window of a truck or on the dashboard all day. That’s the fast track to a new helmet purchase.
- Second, take a peek at the suspension system. This is what actually absorbs a lot of the energy from that wrench that was dropped off the ladder. Look it over for any fraying of straps, cracks in the attachment points, deformed or stretch plastic, or other signs of serious wear.
One last thing… a safety helmet is designed to work ONCE. If it is hit with any substantial force, whether from a falling object or even a big drop, it needs to be replaced. Even if there is no visible damage… replace it. Better safe than sorry!