Dropped objects come in a diverse range of shapes, sizes and weights, and may fall for a variety of different reasons.
Dropped object incidents fall into one of two categories: static or dynamic.
Static Dropped Objects include fixed objects that fall from height with no external force applied, often as a result of corrosion, poor maintenance or incorrectly installed fixtures.
Dynamic Dropped Objects fall because of applied external force. This could include objects falling from conveyor belts, handheld items such as hammers being dropped by personnel, or fixtures such as lights or speakers being dislodged by vibration, impact or extreme winds.
These incidents threaten not only the safety of personnel, but also critical equipment in the potential impact zone.
On site at on- and offshore facilities, factors such as poor maintenance, harsh weather conditions, exposure to UV radiation, moving equipment, and strong vibrations cause fixtures and structures to corrode and become loose, and that creates a significant threat when best-practice prevention procedures are not followed.
These risks can also be compounded by human error. Personnel working at height are at risk of dropping equipment such as hand-held tools. If these dropped objects strike another worker below, injury or possible fatality can occur. Dropped handheld tools and equipment constitute a prominent threat in numerous industries worldwide.