CAN/Canada Z462:Protective Clothing & Equipment
CAN/Canada-Z271-10: Safety Code for Suspended Platforms
Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations – 14.4
ANSI A10.8: Construction, Demolition Operations
On average, 143 people are struck by falling objects each day. (Source: EHS Today)
There are more than 42,400 “struck by falling object” recordable accidents each year in the United States. (Source: 3M)
More than 200 employees die each year in the United States in falling object-related accidents. (Source: Never Let Go)
Gravity is a force that pulls objects toward the center of the earth. So objects fall because they are being acted upon by gravity.
Objects that have more mass fall at a faster rate due to the air resistance involved. Air resistance is really just upward friction that acts against gravity. Heavier objects are able to cut through the air resistance to fall faster than light objects.
While the hierarchy of controls breaks down protection from falling objects into five categories, the most effective way to protect yourself is to utilize tool tethering systems. These are similar to personal fall arrest systems, but they are for tools rather than people. As much as you try to block off leading edges and use guardrails, you can’t account for clumsiness. Tool tethering systems stop tools from falling to the ground, even when you are clumsy with your tools.
Falling objects consist of tools, equipment, or loads that fall vertically through the air to a lower level. Flying objects are propelled horizontally through the air from tools like saws or from deflecting off of an object.
Falling object prevention is a provision in the Canada’s fall protection standard. Fall protection refers to protecting people from falls, while falling object prevention refers to protecting people on the ground from struck-by accidents.
When something falls from heights and hits a person on the ground, that is considered a struck-by accident. From Canada’s focus four hazards, stuck-by accidents are considered the third most common in the construction industry.