Falling Objects

June 15, 2021

Remember story problems from grade nine math class? Train A heads north at an average speed of 95 miles per hour, leaving its station at the precise moment as Train B... “ you get the idea. They were all pretty philosophical and left everyone wondering, “when will we ever use this”. Well, the time is now. Our safety professionals have calculations that would make your grade 9 head spin. For instance they have figured out that a solid object dropped from 64 feet will hit the ground in two seconds at a speed of 43.8 miles per hour. The same object dropped from 106 feet will hit the ground in 3 seconds at a speed of 65.8 miles an hour. You might think, “well that is interesting but why does it matter?”

 

In the construction industry falling objects have the potential to injure or even kill a person. A ballpoint pen dropped from 230 feet could penetrate a hardhat. A 8 pound wrench dropped 200 feet would hit the ground with the force of a clydesdale horse. The truth is injury caused by fallen objects happens a lot more frequently than people realize. At Credence, we take this very seriously. In addition, dropped objects are often damaged or lost in the process which means time and money are spent on replacements. Not to mention, the item it lands on; equipment, building structure or a parked car. We want to minimize or eliminate these occurrences.

 

Below you will find a list of protocols we have in place to protect our workers and visitors to our job site as well as our equipment and projects.

 

Use of Lanyards

Many tools have a tethered option. They either come with a connection point or can be retrofitted with one. This allows the user to connect the tool to a lanyard which is then attached to a tool belt, wristband or an anchor on the structure itself.

 

Placement of materials and objects

Our workers are instructed to keep all material at least three feet from a leading edge, other than material specifically required for work in process. Similarly, no object or tool is ever hung over a guardrail.

 

Remove all personal items

We recommend our workers remove items from all loose or unsealed pockets. These items include phones, pens, radios, air monitors or tools. This eliminates distraction and minimizes the number of objects that are potential drop hazards.

 

Hard hats and PPE

Hard hats and other required personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn and secured with chin straps and tethers by every person in the area at risk for falling objects. There are no exceptions to this. We also inspect all PPE prior to use to confirm it still meets manufacturers’ recommendations.

 

Toe Boards

Toe boards are installed on our projects and inspected frequently. These boards act as an edge barrier for objects and a physical reminder for our workers.

 

Tape and tag the area

Whenever possible we tape off the ground area underneath a high work project. While this will not stop items from falling it will ensure there is no one below to be struck by a falling object.

 

Netting

Whenever necessary we use a tarp or netting on top of and around scaffolding and platforms. This acts as a barrier between a falling item and the ground. It is an effective way to avoid injury or damage.

 

Communication

We work as a team to avoid complacency and remain vigilant at all times. We encourage our employees to hold one another accountable to all the safety procedures and create an expectation of safety. Our main objective is to ensure our employees feel safe and secure in their work and to eliminate any chance of an injury due to a falling object.