The ISEA/ANSI 121 Dropped Objects Prevention Standard outlines the safety standards and requirements for testing at-height tool tethering equipment in order to increase safety. This doesn't mean that there will be a requirement for tethering. However, in the future, it may be standardized across different industries.
3M has developed a wide range of excellent tools for drop prevention and we helped select a wide variety to showcase in the 3M Fall Protection for Tools Sample Pack. Buy a Tower Climbing Kit and receive the 3M Fall Protection Sample Pack for FREE for a limited time. The sample kit includes 9 pieces of awesome gear from 3M.
This kit includes:
- (1) 3M DBI Sala 5 pound Capacity D-Ring Attachment w/ Cord
- (1) 3M DBI Sala 5 pound D-Ring Attachment
- (1) 3M DBI Sala 5 pound Retractor
- (1) 3M DBI Sala Harness Adaptor
- (1) 3M DBI Sala Hook2Hook Tether w/ Swivel
- (1) 3M DBI Sala Hook2Loop Medium Duty Bungee Tether Tool Lanyard
- (1) 3M DBI Sala Medium Duty Dual Wing Tool Cinch
- (1) 3M DBI Sala Quick Wrap Tape II
- (1) 3M DBI Sala Small Parts Pouch
Watch our video outlining the kit and scroll further for descriptions of different drop prevention issues and solutions.
The Full Video:
Check out 3M Fall Protection for Tools Sample Pack here ↓
Tool tethers have been around for quite a few years. However, traditionally they were referred to as tool lanyards. The industry has adopted the name tool tethers to prevent confusion between tool drop prevention equipment and shock absorbing lanyards. Tool tethers, like most equipment in the at-height industry, come in a range of shapes and sizes.
How They Work
Dropped objects are still a huge cause of injury and death in the United States. Tool tethers are designed to help prevent those casualties and also prevent lost productivity and damaged equipment.
Tool tethers have a range of connections points and a variety of different weight capacities ranging from 1 to 15 pounds. The weight capacity is based on the weight of the tool.
If you need a tool tether with a larger capacity click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.
Connecting the tool tether to the tool itself can be done in a few different ways. If the tool has a tether connection built-in, then you are good to go. Simply attach the connection point of the tether to the tool and you’re in business. If you find yourself in a situation where the tool does not have a tether point, there are solutions available. Some options include:
Self-Adhering Tape – This is a tape that has been designed to adhere to a connection point to your tool.
Tool Collars – These are components that help retrofit a range of tools with a connection point without hindering the ability to use the handle of the tool.
Tool tethers come in a range of lengths that not only provide easier use when working but also provide added force reduction in the event of a drop. Another option, if you need to be able to adjust the length, is to use a retractable tether. Think of retractable tethers as mini SRLs for your tools. It functions in much the same way.
**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.
Looking for more information about tool tethers? Click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.
Gear Up with Gear Experts Podcast Episode 9 - Tool Tethering
→ Click Here to listen to our Gear Experts discuss tool tethering:
The Full Video:
Check out 3M Fall Protection for Tools Sample Pack here ↓
Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on.
We’re Also on Snapchat
Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!
Most often in the tower industry, there are anchorage points in convenient places. When you’re on a tower, you have steel surrounding you that your rebar hooks easily attach to. But occasionally you might find yourself with no overhead anchorage available. When this happens, you’ll need specially designed equipment for foot level tie-off. This is also known as 12 foot free fall or extended free fall.
Normally in a personal fall arrest setup, the anchorage is above you. The maximum distance that you can legally travel before your lanyard arrests your fall is 6 feet. Because of this short distance the lanyard doesn’t have a hard time reducing the arresting forces to an acceptable level. It still won’t be comfortable; you’re going to experience upwards of 800-900 pounds of force on your body. But that’s much better than the potentially fatal force that you would feel without a shock absorbing lanyard.
During a foot level tie-off scenario, your anchorage is, obviously, below your dorsal D-ring. This means that if you fall you’re going to travel up to 12 feet before the lanyard even begins to stop you. In terms of speed, you’ll fall 6 feet in 0.61 seconds. And a 12 foot fall only takes 0.25 seconds longer, so you’re obviously travelling much faster.
A standard shock absorbing lanyard is not designed to safely stop you while travelling at that rate. If and it’s a big IF, it even stops you at all, you’ll be subjected to more force that is legally allowed. Luckily, fall protection companies like DBI Sala, FallTech, Skylotec, and WestFall Pro have specially designed equipment to make sure you’re safe in foot lev el tie-off situations.
An important thing to keep in mind when tying off at foot level is fall clearance. Fall clearance is the distance below your anchorage that you’ll be able to safely fall without hitting the surface or structure below you. What good is fall protection if you’re going to splat into the floor or an I-beam before your gear can stop you? In 12 foot free fall, you’ll fall 6 feet before your lanyard starts to catch you. Add the length of the lanyard, which is 6 feet. Then allow 60 inches, or 5 feet for your lanyard to expand, also known as arresting distance. Also, your overall height, let’s say another 6 feet. So far we’re at 23 feet of fall clearance. Finally you always need a safety factor; we’ll call it 1.5 feet. So for this scenario, you would need almost 25 feet before the nearest obstruction to safely work.
Have some extended free fall work in your future? Click here to see all of our 12 foot free fall rated lanyards. Some are designed only for this type of application, others, like the BlackMax from WestFall Pro, can be used in either standard fall arrest or extended free fall situations.
Klein’s new Work At-Height gear is now available. Their tried and true steel erection tools, bags, and buckets have upgraded functionality. Pair them with the new tool lanyard and you’ve got yourself a great drop-proof setup.
Falling objects accounted for 10% of worker fatalities in 2013, and is the third leading cause of disabling injuries. Luckily, manufacturers are taking steps to make sure dropped objects are no more.
We’ll start with the tether. It has a maximum load capacity of 10 lbs and stretches from 32 inches to 60 inches. Check out the video below to see how to install, and secure it onto tools.
Next, we’ll look at the new 5416OCTO Canvas Pouch with Connection Points. It’s got the standard bull pin loops to store your tethered tool, plus two d-rings on the front, and four on the inside for plenty of space to connect tethers.
Finally, the bull pins and wrenches with tether holes. You know these… the bull pins are machined from high quality alloy steel for extra durability and are available with either a black rust resistant finish or in stainless steel. Now, they feature a tether hole for anchoring to your harness or bag.