When working at heights, dropped tools can pose a significant safety hazard. This is especially important in the oil and gas industry and ocean rigs, where elevated work areas are common. Dropped objects are a common contributor to accidents in both onshore and offshore facilities.
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Objects to consider with potential to cause accidents are hand tools, tools or equipment left behind after a task, or equipment mounted in an elevated location that has the potential to fall due to movement or environmental conditions.
Eliminating the potential for dropped object accidents is an important part of any safety program. And while everyone knows dropped objects are dangerous, what might not be as obvious is just how dangerous they can be. According to Dropped Object Prevention Scheme (DROPS), an object that weighs less than three pounds if dropped from a height of 30 feet can be fatal.
All portable equipment used where there is a risk of the equipment falling to an underlying level must be secured against being dropped
Remember even small items falling from significant heights can cause injury and distractions. Ensure all personal equipment (tally books, pens, calipers, cameras, water bottles etc.) is secure in a fastened pocket or carry pouch. If the item is not required for the task, do not carry it at height – leave it at ground level.