By Safety+Health | June 27, 2021 1:00 PM
The latest overall trend in dropped objects prevention is a sharp increase in awareness and, consequently, compliance – across all industries. Since the formal adoption of ANSI/ISEA 121-2018, American National Standard for Dropped Object Prevention Solutions, workers at height, employers and manufacturers have made a vigorous effort to stop struck-by injuries and deaths caused by falling objects by incorporating a dropped objects prevention program alongside existing fall protection programs. Product manufacturers have begun to expand dropped object prevention offerings to cover a wider range of tools and accessories, and we’re even seeing tool manufacturers getting on board by bringing tether-ready products to market. Training has also remained a key component of comprehensive fall protection programs.
Over the past 14 months, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions on onsite consultations have created a high demand for pre-kitted dropped objects solutions. Manufacturers responded by designing purpose-built tethering kits, pairing popular anchor attachments, tool tethers and tool attachments to fit common applications. Although the kit approach served an important role in providing solutions during an otherwise very difficult time, recent changes to COVID-19 protocols have reopened jobsites to fall protection professionals, allowing fully consulted solutions to be possible once again. Employers should, when conditions permit within local COVID-19 guidelines, seek the advice of experts on dropped objects protection and foreign material exclusion to help design custom solutions. Bringing in a “fresh” set of eyes to a jobsite often helps identify hazards that aren’t always apparent to workers whose constant exposure to them can cause “hazard fatigue,” in which risks are overlooked over the course of the day. To think outside of the box to find a solution, you must first step outside of the box itself – something a highly trained dropped objects prevention specialist can help with on any jobsite.