ISEA’s new initiative seeks to protect workers from dropped objects

Plans for drafting standard underway, stakeholders invited to provide best practice insight

Posted May 13, 2016

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014 there were 240 fatalities from being struck by a falling object or equipment in the United States, which accounted for approximately five percent of all workplace fatalities. Regulators and professionals have acknowledged the serious, life-threatening risks of falling objects and are instilling rules to ensure proper precautions are followed in the workplace.

In response, leading safety equipment manufacturers have joined together to standardize the solutions available to protect workers from objects falling from heights. These objects include hand tools, instrumentation, small parts, structural components, and other items that have to be transferred and used at heights.

The implications from struck-by injuries can range from inconvenience or loss of productivity to life-altering injury or death. This is especially important in oil and gas, construction, energy and telecommunications infrastructure, shipping operations and aviation industries, where elevated work areas are common.

The objective is to provide employers with a document that establishes minimum design, performance, and labeling requirements for solutions that reduce dropped objects incidents in industrial and occupational settings. An industry first, the proposed standard will focus on preventative solutions actively used by workers to mitigate these hazards, and address the classification and testing of these solutions.

Planning efforts are underway for drafting the standard document, with a meeting scheduled for May 26, 2016 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Stakeholders are invited to share valuable insights into best practices on the proper use, selection, and technologies in dropped objects solutions, and collectively help to draft a standard that can be used in future product development.

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