Preventing harm from falling tools

HSE is publishing this series of short case studies to promote some of the new and practical solutions used to manage health, safety and welfare during construction of the London 2012 projects, to help others working in construction and inspire further ideas to deal with hazards and manage risk.


Danger from falling objects is always present whatever the size of the construction or building project. This hazard was anticipated as a significant risk on London 2012 projects and one that could be difficult to manage.


Records kept during work revealed that falling objects accounted for around 50% of near miss incidents and around half of those objects were tools.


Full protection from falling tools could only be achieved by full height sheeting, debris netting or similar which was not always practicable. The project therefore adopted an innovative tool lanyard system for work within 2m of an edge not provided with full height sheeting or netting.

If a tool fell from the grasp of the user a retractable line would prevent the tool falling and causing injury.

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