What is tool tethering?

Tool tethering is a way of preventing tools falling or being dropped when working at height. So, it’s really important on façade projects.

In a nutshell:

  • Tool tethering prevents tools falling when working at height
  • Falling objects is one of the biggest risks of death or injury on construction sites
  • Attaching tools to a secure anchor point or the operator protects people below
  • Lanyards, cases, loops, adhesive D-rings, belts and heavy-duty tethers are all effective methods of tethering
  • Processes and procedures should be embedded in a company’s safety culture

It involves securely attaching tools to a fixed anchor point or to the person using them – preventing the possibility of injury to people below (or damage to expensive equipment or materials).

You probably think this is a no-brainer in construction-site safety. So, would you be surprised to learn that according to recent statistics from the Health and Safety Executive, 13% of deaths among workers in the last five years (and 11% of all injuries) were caused by moving or falling objects?

In fact, it’s one of the biggest risks on construction sites, and is a major concern when working at height on a façade project. What’s more, it’s also punishable by big fines – not to mention damage to reputation and construction delays. HSE investigations can cause whole sites to be closed, even if there is no damage or injury.

Methods of tool tethering

The system doesn’t need to be complicated. Lanyards, cases, loops, adhesive D-rings, belts and heavy-duty tethers are all effective at securing tools, brackets, fixings and even mobile phones. More important is for processes and procedures to be embedded in a company’s safety culture, and to be second-nature for everyone working at height.

Safety by design

The most experienced (and safest) façade companies will assess the risks of working at height safety from Day One of the design phase. For example, Maple’s design team incorporates secure methods of lifting and tethering into everything we manufacture or install, including pre-drilled holes, anchoring plates and secure lifting points.

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