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New Tool Drop Prevention System minimises falling object incidents

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Technique Solutions has developed a new Tool Drop Prevention System designed to minimise injuries or fatalities caused by dropped tools at industrial workplaces.

Safe Work Australia’s Key Work Health and Safety Statistics – 2014 reveal that fatalities caused by falling objects have almost doubled in recent years, increasing from 18 in 2009-10 to 30 in 2011-12. The latest Notified Fatalities Report indicates that dropped tools became the second highest cause of work related fatalities in 2013.

Dropped tool incidents are very common in the construction industry, or during the servicing of any facility. Given the potential repercussions, including death or injury, tool and equipment damage, foreign object debris and downtime, the need for a drop prevention program is clear, and both employers and employees should take it seriously.

Recent studies have highlighted the deadly nature of falling objects. A 1.8kg tool falling from 15m hits with a force of approx. 49kg/cm²; this is a situation where hard hats are of very little consequence when an object carrying this kind of energy makes impact. Also, falling objects don’t necessarily fall straight down. A 3.7kg wrench falling from 36.5m and hitting a bar 6m off the ground can deflect 66m potentially causing further harm and injury.

Dropped tool incidents pose several challenges to industry, making it difficult for companies to implement tool drop prevention polices and procedures.

Common concerns include culture, lack of risk awareness, restricted tool functionality and tool diversity.

Culture

An issue that is typically overlooked in many industries, tool drop incidents are not considered as seriously as some of the more recognised industrial hazards. For instance, consequences of dropped objects are not as straightforward as the dangers of falling from height. Additional education at all levels is therefore necessary to implement tool drop prevention as a work culture.

Lack of risk awareness

Complacency is a major consequence of dropped tools at workplaces since these incidents are seen as commonplace by workers. However, statistics are clearly showing that this is a very dangerous outlook with potentially deadly consequences.

Restricted tool functionality

Drop prevention devices are available in the market but are not very popular among workers as they tend to inhibit tool functionality and affect job performance.

Tool diversity

Given the wide range of tools that are used at height, it is difficult to employ a one-size-fits-all approach, resulting in a very challenging environment for a drop prevention policy to be implemented. This approach is not sustainable and will invariably gain little acceptance.

Tool Drop Prevention System

A leading supplier of speciality safety supplies and solutions, Technique Solutions serves many of Australia’s largest construction, energy and resource projects and facilities with the key objective to change the country’s dropped object statistics.

Technique Solutions has introduced a Tool Drop Prevention System that is innately adaptable to 95% of hand tools; takes only minutes to apply and does not require technical expertise or tools to be mechanically modified or damaged in any way; provides a fully certified and load rated system for industry; and provides a viable avenue for companies to become aligned with Drop Object Prevention legislation.

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