Dropped Objects can be any items that fall from above, damaging equipment, injuring personnel, and potentially causing financial, reputational and in some cases, legal consequences.
Dropped Objects continue to present significant safety challenges in all operational activities across a wide range of industries, both on- and offshore. There are more than 50,000 reported OSHA incidents each year in the US due to workers being struck by falling objects, and data from DROPS Online shows that the majority of high potential (Hi-Po) incidents can be attributed to dropped objects.
Many factors contribute to the high number of items falling from height, including the incorrect tethering of tools and equipment, lack of secondary retention of fixtures such as lights, non-adherence with lifting procedures, environmental challenges, human behaviour and inadequate design.
DROPS Calculator (above)
Endorsed by DROPS, the DROPS Calculator it is one of the most common tools used to calculate the impact to peronnel safety objects dropping from height can cause. While other ‘calculators’ exist, they all follow the same principle: Plotting the mass of a dropped object against the distance it falls to determine its possible consequences – even a 3lb hammer falling from 30 feet can result in a fatality.
Companies require comprehensive Drops Programmes to enable them to deal with and elminiate risks dropped object incidents can cause, while embracing the requirement for worksite hazard management and secondary retention and securing best practice.
Reliable securing is the selection and maintenance of the appropriate fastenings for all items at height. To adhere to best practice these fastenings must be regularly inspected and well maintained to ensure peak performance. When looking at reliable securing through the lens of Dropped Object Prevention, it helps to maintain the fixtures and fastenings to stop heavy items from dropping from above, either damaging equipment or threatening the safety of personnel.
Primary retention is the method by which a fixture at height is secured. This is usually done using bolts, screws or mounting brackets. While necessary for fixing all items at height, primary retention methods can be prone to failure due to impact, degredation or corrosion among other factors.
Secondary Retention, or Secondary Securing Devices, ensure that fixtures or items at height remain secured in case the primary retention method fails. This is usually by a Secondary Securing Wire (SSW) or specifically designed safety nets.
When selecting a Secondary Retention solution, it is key to take into account
Dropsafe provides a number of products that help to mitigate the risk posed by dropped objects and enable the secondary retention of lights and other fixtures.
The Dropsafe Nets, made from SUS316 stainless steel, securely enclose and tether overhead fixtures, including lights, CCTV cameras and speakers. Dropsafe Nets are already in use across a wide number of industries on a global scale. They can withstand the harshest conditions, come in a variety of sizes and have acheived American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) DOPP+ Type Approval. Dropafe Nets are considered to be an industry leader in secondary retention solutions.
Similarly, the Dropsafe Pouch is also made of marine-grade stainless steel and while the Dropsafe Net tethers fixtures at height, the Pouch secures handheld items, including two-way radios, multimeters, aerosol cans and tablets. Smaller hand held items are frequently dropped at height and inadvertantly kicked or knocked off platforms or raised worksites.
While not a Secondary Retention device, another way to stop items falling from height is the Dropsafe Barrier, which is a modular infill barrier system to be attached to the inside of guardrailing, preventing items falling from the deck surface to areas below.
Explore our Dropped Object prevention solutions:
‘Slipping Through The Cracks’ recognises the budgetary limitations of HSE managers and the fact there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to the problem of Dropped Objects, allowing organisations to make effective decisions when buying Drops prevention Barriers.