PLH GROUP NEWS
Safeguard Tools for a Safe Job Site
Date: August 8, 2022
Whether atop a utility pole or down into a pipeline trench, PLH Group employees often work from height. This type of work requires special safe work practices to protect the worker, such as wearing the appropriate harness and safely scaling ladders. Employees must also ensure their tools and equipment are safeguarded to prevent incidents involving dropped tools.
Dropped tools have the potential to cause a reduction in productivity, equipment damage, and significant injury. In fact, simple equipment – like a wrench or tape measurer – assisted by gravity have turned deadly when dropped.
Power Line Services employees working at height secure tools and equipment to ensure safe power line operations.
So how do workers avoid this hazard? The best way to protect yourself from falling objects is through general safe work practices and personal protective equipment.
Before working from height, perform a thorough hazard assessment, including the following:
- Secure tools. Tie tools to a lanyard, tethering device, or tool belt. Ensure tools and materials are secured against wind gusts.
- Secure the work area. When necessary, use toe boards, screens, guardrails, and nets. Post signage and never place materials near floor openings.
- Carefully ascend and descend ladders. Practice ladder safety by keeping three points of contact on the ladder at all times. If a hand is needed to carry tools, appropriate ladder safety is not being observed. Instead, safely secure the tools to your body. Make sure your weight plus the weight of everything you are carrying is within the weight of the ladder’s Duty Rating. If necessary, utilize a towline with a tool bucket to move supplies up or down the ladder.
- Wear personal protective equipment (PPE). Always wear a hard hat, safety glasses, gloves, and other required PPE on the construction site.
- Stay organized. Keeping tools organized assists you and others with knowing where tools are at all times. When properly stored, these tools should not be tripping, sliding, or falling hazards.
- Know how to operate tools and equipment before use. Do not use tools or equipment unless you have been properly trained and all safeguards are in place. Operate equipment according to manufacturer’s instructions to prevent tools and equipment from breaking or malfunctioning.
- Make sure tools are in safe working condition. Inspect tools to ensure proper working condition and that they will not shake loose, crack, or splinter.
PLH Group and its power line and pipeline experts never jump into work without first methodically ensuring that all work can be performed safely. Safe work cannot occur without first safeguarding tools and equipment.