The DOs & DON’Ts of Tool Tethering

July 29, 2019
Annie

Did you know that dropped objects rank in the top 3 of the deadliest workplace accidents in the UK, according to the latest statistics from HSE’s Riddor Report 2017/18? Falling objects also accounted for over 7,000 reported non-fatal injuries, with 75% of them resulting in over 7 days of lost work time each (2016/17).

Here at Tool@rrest we’re working hard to make the best tool tethering technology widely available and put a stop to the fatalities, injuries, site damage and project downtime caused by dropped tools.

In today’s blog, we’re taking a look at what you need to do (and not do!) to ensure optimum safety and efficiency when using tool tethering systems.

Tool Tethers

DOs

  • ALWAYS use a Certified and Rated Tether that is suitable for the weight of the Tool.
  • ALWAYS ensure the tether is fitted by a competent professional.
  • ALWAYS Verify the integrity of a tether prior to use looking for indications of excessive wear and tear or fatigue. (If in question, replace the tether).

DON’Ts

  • DON’T use a homemade tether.
  • DON’T use a tether that has not been fitted by a competent professional.
  • DON’T use a tether that is not certified and tested for the tool weight.
  • DON’T tether a tool that exceeds 2.5 kg to a person.
  • DON’T use a tether exhibiting deformities, unusual wear or deterioration. This must be immediately discarded and replaced before using the tool.

Lanyards

DOs

  • ALWAYS use a lanyard that is tested and rated for the tool weight.
  • ALWAYS inspect your lanyard prior to use looking for indications of excessive wear, failed stitching and ensure Karabiners are in good clean working order. (If in question, replace the lanyard.)
  • ALWAYS weigh tools so that a properly rated lanyard is used for the application (never assume the weight of a tool just by feel).
  • ALWAYS ensure the lanyard at full extension drop will not impact with workers below you.
  • ALWAYS verify the tool’s attachment point to ensure that it is strong enough to hold the tool for the full drop distance of the lanyard.
  • ALWAYS anchor all tools weighing more than 2.5 kg to a secure, fixed and rated anchor point, never to a person.
  • ALWAYS use a quick-change lanyard when a group of small tools are being used.
  • ALWAYS use a retractable lanyard where there is risk entanglement or snagging and multiple tools are being used.
  • ALWAYS use lanyards that have very low stretch force at full extension so long as they have the correct degree of recoil for the tool and application.
  • ALWAYS transfer shock loads from a person to a rated structure whenever possible.
  • ALWAYS ensure the weight of the tools attached to the body does not overload and exceed the weight limit of the harness.

DON’Ts

  • DON’T ever use a tool lanyard with lower weight limits than the tool being tethered.
  • DON’T tether a tool to a person without verifying the impact on the persons “Personal Fall Protection” (PFP) devices.
  • DON’T attach a lanyard to a structure without verifying the strength and shock-load capability of the anchor point.
  • DON’T use lanyards that require excessive force for full extension. (This will cause increase muscle fatigue.)
  • DON’T modify the tool lanyard in anyway (replacement of tool lanyard components such as Karabiners, clips will change the load rating).
  • DON’T connect more than one Tool Lanyard together.
  • DON’T customize the tool lanyard with hardware that does not have the appropriate load ratings for the tool.
  • DON’T assume that a tool tether is a fool proof device.
  • DON’T use a tool lanyard as a Personal Fall Protection (PFP) lanyard.
  • DON’T use tool lanyards to the body in situations where machinery entanglement is a concern, most tool tethers will not breakaway against the weight of a person.

Remember, if in doubt, always check with a qualified safety professional before proceeding.  If you’d like to discuss your tool tethering requirements, please get in touch with the Tool@rrest team or call:  +44 (0) 1952 292 782.

Tool@rrest – The Drop Stops Here.

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