How To Prevent Objects Dropping When Working At Heights

April 02 2019
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Aerial lifts have significantly improved the security of workers, doing their job at heights. However, they haven’t done anything to prevent one of the most common hazards for construction, fruit picking, and façade cleaning sites. Dropped objects. They require additional attention.

Falling objects can lead to injuries and death of both people working at the site and innocent passerby. Companies often don’t pay sufficient attention to training their employees on how to avoid the dropped object hazard. After all, it’s human error, isn’t it? With the right information, it’s an error, which can be prevented.

  1. Synchronizing Duties

The most common situation for dropped objects is when two or more workers are performing their duties in one basket since they must work around one another. With all the protection equipment and tools around, workers often end up getting in each other’s way and causing the tools to drop.

Learning how to work with each other without bumping and pushing requires experience. Toeboards just require an investment. Make sure a toeboard is an essential part of your height access equipment.

  1. Secure Tools

Tool belts and tool bags are essential parts of every worker’s equipment. Each team member should be carefully trained to put the tool back in the belt/bag once it’s not in the hand. Even if they are planning to use it once again a second later.

It only takes a second to knock a tool over and send it flying to the ground, or worse, someone’s head.

A place to keep the tools secure doesn’t just prevent objects from falling, it saves the workers from tripping and injuring themselves inside the basket.

Another wonderful way to keep the tools safe is a tether. Tool tethers keep the small equipment attached to the workers wrist, saving the time it would take to place it inside the bag. Tethers come in different lengths, making the work comfortable for all types of tasks.

  1. Passive Safeguards

Besides toeboards, companies may think about installing screens and nets around the basket to prevent objects from falling over. Such screens are easy to attach. They encompass the basket to make sure no accidents happen.

However, such nets and screens may somewhat interfere with the work process for some tasks. So they should be carefully chosen according to the project needs.

When you are renting height access equipment, ask the company about the passive safeguards they are ready to provide.

WHAT IS IPAF

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide in the widest sense – through providing technical advice and information; through influencing and interpreting legislation and standards; and through safety initiatives and training programmes. IPAF is a not-for-profit organisation owned by its members, which include manufacturers, rental companies, distributors, contractors and users. IPAF members operate a majority of the MEWP rental fleet worldwide and manufacture about 85% of platforms on the market.
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