Safety Industry News

Dropped Objects Standard 121-2018 Approved, Adopted by ANSI

The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) have announced that the long anticipated “Dropped Objects Standard” has been approved. ANSI/ISEA 121-2018, American National Standard for Dropped Object Prevention Solutions establishes minimum design, performance, and labeling requirements for product solutions that prevent falling objects and guidelines for testing that equipment.

“This is big because it establishes tethering systems and containers as the best practice when it comes to falling object safety,” said Nate Bohmbach, product director at Ergodyne and the chairman of the ISEA committee that developed this standard. “To date, many have been content with PPE such as hard hats or administrative controls such as barricade tape, but those do not prevent items from falling, nor do they eliminate potential injury. Tethering systems prevent the items from falling altogether.”

With annually over 250 fatalities and nearly 48,000 reported injuries from dropped objects in the United States in 2016 (Bureau of Labor Statistics), the need to address dropped objects has never been greater.

Until now, there has been no guidance for workers on what constitutes a proper tethering system. Without a standard, there is nothing to differentiate duct tape and string from a properly rated tool lanyard and attachment point.

“Gravity has been around forever. Yet it’s taken far too long for prevention to become the best practice,” said Tom Votel, president and CEO of Ergodyne. “This standard is ground-breaking because nothing like it exists today. It’s not a revision of an established safety equipment standard; this was built from the ground up – no pun intended.”

The standard addresses four active controls against dropped objects, including:
Anchor Attachments
Tool Attachments
Tool Tethers

The standard will not include passive controls like netting and toeboards nor will it include longstanding falling object PPE like hard hats, eyewear and safety footwear.

“Now that we’ve led the way to develop this standard, our full attention is on helping workers understand what it means, and how it can help them as well as continuing to innovate solutions that meet the standard,” said Bohmbach.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks as Ergodyne announces its lineup of ANSI/ISEA 121-2018 compliant solutions.
Copies of the standard can be purchased online from ISEA.

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