Tool Tethering: How to Choose a Safe Anchor Point
KEY TAKEAWAY: Anchor points provide a secure connection to a person or structure in a tool tethering system. Along with a tether and lanyard, an anchor point prevents a dropped tool from becoming a lethal hazard.
Drop a tool from an elevated working platform and it has the potential to be life threatening. An object accelerates as it falls: a seemingly harmless tool can create a deadly impact force. If luck is on your side, the tool may miss your team mate, but equipment damage and wasted time is highly likely.
Tool tethering is the practice of securing equipment ensuring dropped tools don’t become hazards. Creating a successful tool tethering system involves three components: choosing a suitable tether, selecting the right lanyard and deciding on an anchor to secure the lanyard to a safe point.
An anchor point could be a wrist strap, belt, tool bag or a fixed point on a structure nearby. Choosing the most appropriate anchor depends on the job and the weight of the tool.
Types of Anchor Point:
Anchoring to your wrist is a convenient option for lightweight equipment, especially repeat use tools. A one-size-fits all wristband provides the anchor point, while a Velcro overlock and retainer loop keep the band secure and prevent accidental unfastening. Expansion joints provide comfort as well as emergency realise of the hand should the wristband get caught in a hazard. The wristband adjusts easily, needing only one hand to do so.
Maximum tool weight: up to 5kg
For multiple tool anchoring, a tool belt offers a simple but effective solution. Unlike regular belts, anchor belts are reinforced to support tools should they be dropped.
Belt anchors are comfortable, flexible and easy to use. Attach your tools to the belt via a lanyard or use a tool bag or holster for more storage. The inside size adjustment system keeps the outside surface smooth, allowing tools to move with ease. The belt locks with an ultra-secure defence grade triple-action buckle and is strengthened with dual layered foam.
Maximum tool weight: up to 30kg
Holsters/ Tool Bags
Holsters and tool bags help keep multiple tools organised and accessible, as well as safely anchored. Small bags can attach to a worker via a belt, while larger bags can attach to secure rails or scaffolding. Different bag sizes and layouts are available for common tool groups and tasks.
Maximum tool weight: up to 35kg
Fixed Point Anchor
For some tasks, it’s more convenient to anchor a tool to a fixed point or structure, rather than a person. For heavy tools, tethering to a person can be dangerous: a dropped tool will transfer its shock load to the anchor point, which can destabilise or injure a person. For heavier tools – we recommend anything over 5kg – use a fixed-point anchor instead. Fixed point anchors can attach to a structure such as a secure scaffold or handrail.
Maximum tool weight: up to 30kg
Our work at height experts are on hand to answer your tool tethering questions. Send us a message or call to speak to one of the team on 0333 003 5710.
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