From time spent searching for tools to money spent having to replace those that cannot be retrieved, the direct and indirect costs of dropped objects can be substantial. The health and safety risks to tower company crew members, however, can be even greater.
Types of Dropped Objects & Incidents
Dropped objects can be classified in one of two ways: static and dynamic. Static dropped objects are those that fall with no added force. In contrast, dynamic dropped objects are those that fall with added force.
Likewise, dropped object incidents are often classified in one of two ways: direct impact and deflections. Direct impact incidents occur when a falling object strikes something directly, while a deflection incident arises when a falling object hits another object and ricochets onto something else.
Whether an object that is dropped from a tower makes a direct impact or deflects off of another surface or structure, the results may vary from structural damage and destruction of equipment to injuries and fatalities.
Causes of Dropped Objects
Approximately 50,000 injuries are caused each year from people being struck by falling objects, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While there are a host of potential causes, here are four of the most common reasons a crewmember might drop an object:
- Human error — Handling equipment with negligence or lacking proper equipment training.
- Lack of preparation — Failing to recognize risks and create a plan to minimize or address them.
- Environmental hazards — Improperly forecasting the onset of severe heat, wind, rain, or snow.
- Malfunctioning or damaged equipment — Inadequately inspecting tools for damage or deterioration.
Minimizing Dropped Objects
Minimizing the number of dropped-object incidents requires proactive preparedness. Inspecting equipment, examining personal protective equipment (PPE), and searching the area for potential hazards are preventative measures that can significantly reduce the chance a crewmember will drop an apparatus. Likewise, back-up systems, barriers, and proper crew training can prevent the number of incidents and damage if an object slips, falls, or drops.
Protect Your Tower Clients
Dropped objects are a commonplace hazard in the telecommunications industry. With this in mind, there’s a clear responsibility to assist tower clients in minimizing incidents of tool droppage and providing industry-specific insurance coverage for when these incidents occur.
At USA Telecom Insurance Services, we create coverage plans with leading insurance carriers at competitive rates. To speak with one of our telecom insurance specialists and learn more about the coverage available for your tower clients, contact us today.