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 Solutionsestablishes 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:
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.
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Chemical Growth Fuels Innovations In Hybrid Cut & Chemical PPE
Workers are speaking loud and clear—with increased cut risks abundant in today’s machinery-heavy workspaces, cut protection can be as critical a factor as chemical protection.
The chemical industry is currently in the midst of expansive growth. According to the American Chemistry Council, as many of the world’s major economies experience an upturn, the chemical industry stands poised to prosper, with U.S. chemistry production volume expected to increase by 3.7 percent in 2018. This momentum and expansion translates into a powerful workforce; the chemical industry alone employs 811,000 people in the United States, and for every one job created from the business of chemistry, 6.8 jobs are created in other sectors.1 Talk about a true chemical reaction.
As with any growth comes evolution, and the chemical industry is no exception. To meet growing industry demands for innovations and efficiencies, automated machinery and technology are becoming more common in the workplace than ever before. With workspaces outfitted with advanced technologies and businesses challenged to forge paths of accelerated growth, the need to multitask and quickly change from a chemical setting to a mechanical setting is the new norm. Workers are being challenged to move more quickly and efficiently from task to task for better productivity and performance.
As chemical work becomes increasingly more complex, so does outfitting workers with proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Chemical workers regularly dealing with automated machinery or advanced equipment are routinely exposed to cut hazards in chemical applications, putting themselves at an increased risk of injury, poor comfort, and loss of productivity.
So a new challenge arises for safety managers and workers alike: finding safety solutions that provide comfort and performance without compromising chemical or cut protection. Thanks to innovations in PPE, such options exist, but they do so in a sea of gloves that settle for cut or chemical protection at the expense of grip, comfort, or dexterity. Safety managers must wade through a wide array of cut and chemical safety products to find the right balance of protection.
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