It is acutely alarming to know that dropped objects account for potentially serious injuries and even deaths at worksite. In various industrial sectors, dropped objects are considered to be among top three causes of fatal injuries and, in US, there are approximately 50,000 individuals struck by dropped objects every year in construction sector alone. Industrial worksites which are usually elevated and where workers have to work at height, should focus on safety program with dropped object prevention as its major element. The prime reason for dropped object prevention plan is that it assists in protecting the workers, as well as other people near the worksite from the dangers of dropped objects. The plan for dropped object prevention is customized for a distinctive worksite and should highlight the expectations needed to minimize the menace of personnel injury and fatality, as well as property damage caused by dropped objects.
Even though people are aware that dropped objects can be dangerous, they might not know the lethality of the consequences it can cause. Mainly, there are two types of dropped objects; Static Dropped Objects and Dynamic Dropped Objects. Static dropped objects or falling materials can be classified as any object with injury, fatality or equipment damage which falls under its own weight from its static position. Whereas, dynamic dropped objects are any object that fall from its position due to any applied force.
Dropped Object Prevention Scheme (DROPS) states that any object weighing less than three pounds that is dropped from raised platforms can be life threatening. Therefore, it is critical for worksite safety that adequate preventive mechanisms should be adopted in order to prevent any item falling from height. The dropped objects do not only have an impact upon lives but it also costs time and money, making the preventive action crucial for safe working conditions. But, most importantly, it is the potential loss of lives and life-long injuries. Even if the injuries are recoverable, it can be traumatic for the persons involved and the concerned families.
Usually, a mathematical model named as ‘the drops calculator’ is used to figure out the potential harm a falling object can cause. This model determines that even light-weighted object can have hazardous impact, which ranges from basic medical treatment to some serious traumatic fatalities and equipment damage. After thorough understanding of the potential hazard the dropped objects pose on worksite safety, one should know how to manage this hazard. For this reason, Dropped Object Awareness is considered a key to dropped object hazard identification, risk assessment and effective risk management. Like, DROPS which provides training and awareness courses to those working on sites. All the facts put forth imply that it is crucial to take preventive action against dropped objects for worksite safety.