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 including 3M/Capital Safety Group, Ergodyne and Ty-Flot have joined together to standardize the solutions available to protect workers from objects falling from heights, according to the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA). Dropped objects include hand tools, instrumentation, small parts, structural components and other items that have to be transferred and used at heights; and 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 of ISEA’s standard now in development 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.

“This standard will provide employers with important guidance on how to minimize the risk of dropped object incidents.  That’s an important part of any safety program,” said Dan Shipp, president of ISEA.

Interested parties should contact ISEA Director of Membership and Technical Services Cristine Fargo, for more information.