The Complete Guide to Dropped Object Prevention: Ensuring Onsite Safety
At MSS, we are dedicated to offering top-tier dropped object prevention solutions while educating companies and individuals on the hazards of dropped objects. Understanding the risks associated with objects and handheld items at height is the first step towards mitigating these dangers and safeguarding your workforce.
Defining Dropped Objects
Dropped objects can be classified into two primary categories:
- Static Dropped Objects: These are objects that fall from their previous position under their own weight (gravity) without any additional force. The most common static drops are caused by corrosion or vibration failures.
- Dynamic Dropped Objects: Dynamic drops occur when objects fall due to an applied force, such as collisions involving moving equipment or dislodged tools and equipment.
The Alarming Statistics
Although dropped object incidents are often underreported, the available statistics underscore the significance of these risks:
- In the United States, an injury caused by a dropped object occurs every 10 minutes, resulting in over 50,000 accidents annually.
- On average, 140 people are ‘struck by a falling object’ each day in the United States, according to OSHA.
- In Australia, 9% of workplace fatalities in 2022 were attributed to falling objects, resulting in 16 deaths and costing AUD 23 million in compensation.
The Impact of Dropped Objects
Dropped object incidents pose a fourfold threat to personnel safety, equipment integrity, corporate reputation, and financial performance. While safety is paramount, the other three factors can lead to significant financial losses, damage to critical equipment, and negative publicity.
Causes of Dropped Object Incidents
Dropped object incidents can occur for various reasons, with the following ten primary causes identified:
- Improper Risk Assessment: Failure to adequately identify potential hazards that could lead to dropped objects.
- Human Factors: Complacency, human error, and neglect, which can be mitigated through proper procedures and ongoing safety training.
- Inadequate Procedures: Poor planning and lack of management of change, leading to unsafe work environments.
- Poor Housekeeping: Hazards left from previous tasks, which can cause accidents and increase human error.
- Collisions & Snagging: Risks associated with moving, lifting, and traveling equipment.
- Insufficient Inspection & Maintenance: Ignoring unsafe conditions and failing to conduct regular inspections.
- Redundant, Neglected, or Homemade Equipment: Use of uncertified and temporary solutions that increase risks.
- Inadequately Stored Tools & Equipment: Failure to secure tools and handheld items properly.
- Failed Fixtures & Fittings: Failure of fixtures can have fatal consequences and requires careful inspection.
- Environmental Factors: Extreme weather conditions that compromise stability and security.
Understanding the Science Behind Dropped Objects
The physics behind dropped objects emphasize the magnitude of the risks. Even relatively light items falling from height can have a fatal impact due to their weight and distance of fall.
Preventing Dropped Objects
To mitigate and eliminate the risks of dropped objects, several solutions can be employed:
- Secondary Securing Nets: These nets enclose objects at height to prevent them from falling, serving as a secondary retention device.
- Drops Prevention Barrier: Barrier systems can cover gaps in guardrails to prevent objects from falling through and also absorb the force of falling objects.
- Tool Tethering: Using lanyards and tethers to secure equipment being used at height helps prevent dropped tools incidents caused by human factors.
At MSS, we are committed to providing you with the best dropped object prevention solutions to ensure the safety of your facility and workforce. By adopting these solutions and optimizing your onsite safety measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of dropped object incidents and create a safer work environment. Explore our Dropsafe product range to find the right solutions for your needs.