ISEA Dropped Objects Standard Coming Soon

The draft of the proposed ANSI/ISEA 121, Standard for Dropped Objects Prevention Solutions, is completed and submitted for approval to the ISEA board of directors, said Nate Bohmbach, associate product director for Ergodyne.

INDIANAPOLIS -- ISEA members involved in the development of a new standard addressing products used to prevent dropped objects gave an update on their efforts Sept. 26 during the 2017 National Safety Congress & Expo here.

The principal speakers were Virginia Battles, global vice president of sales for Ty-Flot, and Nate Bohmbach, associate product director for Ergodyne. Charles Johnson, ISEA's president, and Cristine Fargo, ISEA's technical director, also spoke during the Learning Lab event in the expo hall.

Battles explained that four categories of products will be referenced in the standard: anchor points, attachment points, tool tethers, and anti-drop storage, such as self-closing bags. She said there were 247 deaths in 2015 attributed to impacts from dropped objects and that Liberty Mutual reported "struck by" incidents were up 8.6 percent that year and that Liberty Mutual spent $5.3 billion on workers' comp claims due to "struck by" incidents from 2013 to 2014.

"It's costing companies a great deal of money. Hence the reason that we started creating solutions for that," Battles said.

Bohmbach said the standard does not address passive controls such as netting and toeboards, nor does is address PPE or the tools themselves that would be tethered. The draft standard is complete and with the ISEA board of directors, he said, and if approved will move to the review process. "Our draft is pretty much complete, with a few Is to be crossed and Ts to be dotted," he said, explaining that the expectation is that the industry will see this standard live near the end of 2018's first quarter.

Battles said manufacturers such as her company work with equipment manufacturers to evaluate the products they are making and determine how drops can be prevented. "There are tools out there that there are no solutions for yet," she said.

Bohmbach agreed, saying Ergodyne and other manufacturers are evaluating all sorts of objects that may be dropped onto workers below, from water bottles to cellphones to hand tools.

The standard will help manufacturers and end users alike, Battles said. "There's got to be some kind of consistency in how these things are tested," so that end users will know when they read the product's label what it will do, she explained.

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