Preventing tools and equipment being dropped from heights is crucial, with falling objects causing 122 deaths in Australia between 2012 and 2016. Factoring in the impact that lost or irretrievable tools have on productivity, job delays and replacement of equipment also adds additional time and costs to Tradies and businesses. LINQ Height Safety Gear recommends that a tool tethering system be used by anyone working at heights. Any Tradie or DIY home renovator working at heights with the need to use tools, or where a hard hat may be worn, should use tool lanyards and tethers. This includes scaffolders, rope access workers, tower workers and roof workers; plus plumbers, electricians and carpenters working at heights. You can use the LINQ Height Safety tool drop calculator as part of any working-at-heights risk assessment. This tool drop calculator is modelled off a matrix that calculates the energy of a falling object based on its mass and the height it falls from. It then simplifies this to a likely outcome in the event of the tool hitting someone. Outcomes can range from a minor injury through to severe injuries and fatalities.
Tethering is the act of attaching tools or equipment to an anchor point to prevent them falling and potentially causing harm. There are three main considerations when tethering tools: the tether point; the anchor point; and tool lanyards that connect the anchor and tether point. As not all tools have an attachment point, LINQ has developed tether points that can be fitted to the tool without damaging it or limiting its use. Their wire tool socks can clamp over a screwdriver or specific tool. That then allows you to attach it to any of the snap hook tool lanyard options. Lanyards are then attached to anchor points. Although there are no specific rules or standards, LINQ does have guidelines for choosing anchor points. Applications are broad and you should exercise common sense in what would be an ideal attachment point, particularly on a person. Belt loops on pants or jeans should not be used as an anchor point; and you should tether tools only up to 2.5kg to a waist or tool belt.
Heavier tools and objects should be attached to a secure, load-rated anchor. A proper risk assessment should be conducted to identify the suitability of the structure to be used as an anchor point; as well as potential impacts to the surrounding area. A wrist strap can also be used as an anchor point for light tools; while harnesses are a better choice for heavier tools. LINQ wrist straps are rated between 0.6 and 0.8kg. Any more than that places significant discomfort on the user and poses a greater risk of fatigue. Harnesses are a safer attachment point due to the stronger webbing used. You can attach to any of the LINQ harnesses using specific tool lanyards that allow you to choke around the webbing of the harness. Some of the harnesses also have built-in tool belt loops for direct attachment. There are currently no standards in Australia for tool lanyards, but LINQ has adopted the new American National Standards Institute [ANSI] standard as a baseline for products.
LINQ Height Safety Gear
T: 1300 546 747