In 2015, there were “519 fatalities from being struck by an object or equipment in the United States, and 247 were caused by a falling object,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (Baugh 2017). Beyond those fatalities - which cost on average $1.45 million with a total cost that year of $350 million - there were 44,850 injuries caused by dropped or falling objects. This represented an increase from previous years, which has prompted the development of the new ISEA 121 standard for Fall Protection and Dropped Object Prevention. These changes are important for worker safety, but will take some work on the part of business owners, supervisors and managers to stay up to date and compliant.
What to Expect
This standard “seeks to set minimum design, performance and labeling requirements for solutions intended to reduce industrial-related and occupational-related dropped item incidents” (Safety + Health 2017). The proposed standard will be focused on creating preventative solutions to be actively used by workers, and then to test the solutions to mitigate these hazards.
Though these new standards will have implications across industries, they will be “especially important in oil and gas, construction, energy and telecommunications infrastructure, shipping operations and aviation industries, where elevated work areas are common” (Baugh 2017)
If you manage or are employed on a worksite that uses tools, equipment or other components that have to be transferred or utilized at heights, you should expect these new standards to change your practices. Injuries from dropped objects can be serious, and these new standards will help to avoid dangerous situations that can range from “inconvenience or loss of productivity to life-altering injury or death” (Baugh 2017)
Getting Ready for ISEA 121
Fall protection and dropped object prevention is a critical aspect of workplace safety. While we don’t know the full extent of the new ISEA 121 standards, it’s not too early to start planning for these changes. Contact an ORR Safety expert today to learn more about these new standards, safety shoe and boot program, and how we can help you implement a prevention plan for your worksite.
Lydia Baugh (2017) ISEA’s New Initiative Seeks to Standardize Solutions to Protect Workers from Dropped Objects. Retrieved from: https://safetyequipment.org/iseas-new-initiative-seeks-standardize-solutions-protect-workers-dropped-objects/
Safety + Health (2017) ISEA, equipment managers developing standard for protecting workers from objects falling from height. Retrieved from: http://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/print/16224-isea-equipment-managers-developing-standard-for-protecting-workers-from-objects-falling-from-height