This GBCA Safety Toolbox Talk provides tips for preventing your tools from becoming struck-by object hazards when working from heights. Click below to download the Toolbox Talk as a handout (includes Sign-In Sheet).

Tool Safety When Working from Heights

When working from heights, it’s best and common practice to think about personal fall protection equipment. What needs to also be considered, is the fall protection equipment for our tools. Especially when working from heights, most tools should be tethered.

Just as fall protection has the ABCs (Anchorage, Body Support, Connectors), there are the 3 Ts for working with tools and objects from heights: Trapped, Tethered, Topped.

The 3 Ts:

  • Trapped: Create connection points on tools that don’t already have them designed into them. Be cautious: just because a tool looks like it has a connection point, does not mean that it’s engineered to be one.
  • Tethered: Secure tools or objects to a worker or other anchor point, preventing the object itself from falling, or falling very far.
  • Topped: Keep all containers closed as much as possible, whether it’s a bucket, box, or bag. This will prevent their contents from spilling out if they get tipped over.

On July 2, 2018 the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) created and approved the Dropped Objects Prevention Standard. ANSI created a standardized test for all tools, ensuring that all tools have approved attachment points. This ensures safe tethers for all tools.

Following the 3 Ts can also reduce fall hazards on the job site. Dropped tools can become tripping hazards. Reacting and reaching for dropped tools can also be a fall hazard (i.e. if a worker loses their balance).

Remember to record the attendees of your toolbox talk!

Remember to record the attendees of your toolbox talk!

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