According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 52, 260 "struck by falling object" OSHA recordable incidents in 2015. That's one injury that required medical intervention caused by a dropped object every 10 minutes across the US. 247 of those incidents resulted in a fatality. Tool tethers were designed to help prevent those types of incidents.
Think of tool tethering as fall protection for tools. As with fall protection for humans, the proper set up for tool fall protection or tool tethering, requires three elements:
- The tool,
- The tether and
- The attachment point.
- The first thing to consider is the weight of the tool (or object) to be tethered and to properly match the rated capacity of the tether. Using a higher rated capacity tether may be uncomfortable and more expensive than using a like-rated tether.
- It is also important to have an attachment point on the tool or to be able to firmly attach the tether to the handle.
- Next, consider the necessary length of the tether so that you can comfortably reach the required surface to properly use the tool when it’s anchored. Keep in mind that excess slack may become a snag hazard. Tethers are designed to be anchored to your belt, your wrist or even your hard hat; some are conductive and some aren’t.