Eliminating hazards in the factory or on the jobsite can be as easy as selecting the best tool for the job. As we recognize National Safety Month, here are a couple tools that can reduce your risk without blowing your budget.
Cutters with “Smart Knife Technology” retract the blade automatically when it loses contact with the material it’s cutting. The blade will self-retract even if the user tries to override the safety system by leaving the slider in the forward position. Cutters with Smart Knife Technology cost slightly more than conventional cutters but can prevent injuries making them well worth the investment.
This may be the easiest way to prevent falling object injuries on a worksite. Tool lanyards are elastic straps that connect tools to a tool belt or personal fall protection.
Tips for Preventing Falling Object Injuries:
- Use tool lanyards.
- Keep all material at least 3 feet from a leading edge, other than material specifically required for work in process.
- Remove items from loose or unsealed pockets, especially top shirt pockets, such as phones, pens, and tools.
- Do not hang objects over guardrails.
- Secure all objects when working on an elevated surface.
- Ensure toe boards are present and inspect toe boards frequently. They should be at least 4 inches high and continuous. 4 inches is the minimum height with a maximum ¼-inch clearance from the working surface.
- Require hardhats and other relevant PPE for everyone in areas at risk for falling objects—no exceptions. Make sure that this is effectively communicated.
- Rope off the area, if possible, where fall/drop hazards may exist – especially if work is being performed on a ladder.
- Work as a team to avoid complacency and remain vigilant of these procedures at all times.
- Ensure hardhats and other required PPE is inspected prior to use and is used in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.