There are plenty of reasons why you might need to work at height, from painting the upstairs window frames to fixing the guttering. Even indoor decorating can involve climbing a ladder.
Hopefully you take precautions to avoid falling, but for all these jobs you’ll be using tools or equipment up there. And that comes with its own dangers.
The Danger of Using Tools at Height
As the US website Industrial Safety & Hygiene News puts it, “With the exception of Chuck Norris, hurricanes and halitosis, there’s little more dangerous than a plummeting object.” The article carries on, in a more serious tone, to highlight the danger of falling tools and the damage they can do.
The focus here in on industrial use, where laws and regulations apply, but there’s danger too in a DIY context. No dad would need more than five seconds imagining one of his children directly in the path of a falling tool to be convinced of the need for safety.
The best solution is to tether all tools you’re using at height, and you can get a range of retractable tool tethering products from Enfield Safety.
The Importance of Tethering
Most tools are heavy for their size, and a falling object of any weight will hit with considerable force. Construction News points out that “Even the lightest and smallest tools dropped from the top of a building could cause serious damage.”
The work you’re doing may be DIY, but that doesn’t mean you can make do with a DIY tether. The Construction News article goes on to outline various misconceptions, such as that you can use the same tether for every tool, and that you can adapt the tool yourself to tether it.
The Right Tether Used the Right Way
It’s vital to understand how to use tool tethering before you can be confident about choosing the right tether, and Windpower Engineering & Development gives a useful list of the dos and don’ts of tool tethering, such as when to use a quick release or a retractable tether, and how much stretch force a lanyard should have.
If this is too complex, the simplest approach is to discuss it with the supplier. Enfield Safety, for instance, has a full range of tethers of all types, and their expert staff can advise you on the right tether for the right tool.
That way, when you’re up a ladder or working on the guttering, your heart won’t stop if you see your children watching below you.