Performing overhead construction work poses significant safety concerns, and it is important to know how to prevent drop hazards, such as falling tools, according to www.constructionexec.com. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration includes the risk of being struck by a falling object as one of the “fatal four” leading causes of injury and death resulting from a construction-related accident.
Anyone on a construction site is at an increased risk for injury from dropped tools when the following conditions are present: overhead work; scaffolds; cranes; use of power tools; ladders; lifting operations; elevated platforms; performing tasks that require force (pulling, pushing, prying, etc.); and portable equipment put together onsite.
Taking preventative action can help alleviate risks related to drop hazards. Following are some tips to increase safety on the job site.
Mandate safety equipment. Require hard hats and eyewear to be worn by every person at risk for falling objects. This includes construction workers, managers, property managers and visitors.
Use barricades or ropes to mark off areas where potential drop hazards exist.
Use toe boards and screens, ensuring they are secure in place by having them inspected before use.
Implement the use of shock-absorbing tool lanyards that attach directly to workers to reduce drop risk. Note: This only applies to tools light enough that they would not pull a worker down if they are dropped.
Practice good housekeeping and maintenance by keeping tools and other materials away from edges or elevated surfaces.
Always secure tools and materials to prevent movement from external factors, such as weather.
Require risk assessments before conducting work with drop hazards to help prevent a potential accident.
Remove excess hazards. Mandating that workers at height only bring up tools required to perform their jobs will minimize the probability of a tool being dropped.