Falling objects from scaffolds or platforms are serious causes of accidents, with 125 fatalities recorded between 2010 and 2014 as reported by Safe Work Australia. Taking preventive control as a better alternative to secondary defence, Never Let Go (NLG) products, which include a range of tool tethering equipment, are a more practical alternative to mitigating controls like toe boards, handrails, netting, hard hats and the like.
Explains Danyon Small, AMCO product specialist, “dropping tools and equipment has a huge negative impact on productivity. Often tools fall long distances, requiring considerable time to retrieve. If they fall into water, machinery or other ‘non-retrievable’ locations, it can delay or even prevent the task being completed on schedule. Note that a 2 kg hammer dropped at a five metre height will have the impact force of over one tonne!”
Further he notes that “dropping and losing tools costs money in terms of damage and replacement. There is also the possibility of lengthy legal implications and expensive bills to pay. And, if members of the public are involved, the problem expands and can lead to other intangible costs, like brand and reputational damage.
“And, most importantly, there is the potential loss of life. Even with recoverable injuries, it is traumatic for the persons and families involved. After all, this can lead to the loss of income and ongoing medical expenses. Remember, if you are working in public areas, it is not just your workforce at risk, but anyone passing nearby.”
Tethering systems involve the use of a tool tether, tool lanyard and an anchor. The tool tether holds the tool, while the lanyard is what connects the tool to the tether and anchor. NLG units have a wide offering of lanyards with various load rating (based on tool weight), as well as lengths to make access to the job as easy as possible. As well, different materials of lanyard are available for convenient retrieval if a fall occurs. This covers bungee lanyards, coiled lanyards, webbing lanyards and retractable lanyards.
The anchor is the point, an immovable object, the work belt, wrist wrap or harness that a user attaches the lanyard to, so that if it’s dropped it won’t fall.
The NLG gear storage units includes: tool bags, tool holsters, tool belts and pouches, as well as hoist buckets and even phone cases.
Finally, Small adds that NLG systems include instruction literature and videos to assist users in evaluating risks involved with falling objects, choosing the best equipment for each particular application and so on.