Certain industries have been using tool lanyards for some time however it seems like in the past few years this has really started to become a more wide spread practice. It makes sense as all jobsite strive to become as accident free as possible it might be a good idea to leash any cordless drill, hammer or even a screwdriver, which after some free fall could easily be a nice worker’s comp claim.
We were curious just what kind of damage falling objects could do so we pulled up the most common myth “Can A Penny Falling from the Empire State Building Kill a Person?” on Mythbusters.
We were also curious which common power tools already had the ability to be tethers without additional attachments. The Bosch 18V & Dewalt 20V cordless drills and impacts all seemed to come equipped with tie offs where as Milwaukee & Makita do not have them built in. The optional belt clips for any would also work to hold the drills but add bulk if you were planning to use a drill holster. In the 12V cordless category almost none of the tools had a lanyard attachment except the Bosch 12V Impactor, which was a little surprising to us not more would include them.
Hand tools for the most part are not yet being designed specifically to use leashes. Some tools like adjustable wrenches already have hooks, mostly for hanging in the shop, while other tools such as hammers do not and can be a little more challenging to accommodate. It will be interesting to see as tool tethering becomes more common who will start to incorporate these features in their hand tools.
Being smart and planning for the future might not be a bad idea for some of these tool designers; we have certainly not seen the trend in OSHA regulations getting more relaxed. Really it’s probably just a matter of time before anyone required to wear a full body harness (which is anyone working higher than 6’ off the ground at this point) will also be required to use some form of tool leash, just saying.