Lanyards, do I really need them?

Conner Jones

Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2018
Location
St.Louis
Hey guys,

So I have been advised by a professor of mine that if I find myself working over head in any union venue I will need to have a lanyard attached to all of my hand tools. I was wondering if this is a real rule that any of you have encountered, and if so how do you get around it?

Do I really need to buy one of these
https://www.pnta.com/scenic/tools/dirty-rigger-lanyard-with-single-carabiner/
for every tool I own, or can I just use some tie line and call it good?
As usual I ask because I am just trying to be prepared.
 

Amiers

Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.
Joined
May 28, 2009
Location
Phoenix, Az
Yes. You “should”. Reaction time of something falling off you isn’t enough to call out and potentially hit someone.

Most people don’t.

Me personally even on the ground my wrench is tied to me.
 

josh88

Remarkably Tired.
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Whether its a union house or not, anything going up with you that could be dropped should be removed from your pockets or tethered to you. On top of that, there are lots of places that will require head protection if there are people in the air working above them as an added measure.

I have an elastic tether like that with carabiners on each end that someone gave me but tie line works, old coiled phone cords crimped to carabiners, there are tons of options.
 

Ben Stiegler

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Aug 3, 2017
Location
Sf Bay Area
Ask yourself ... what if I was the guy below ... what level of caution would I want people above me to use?

I was once nearly slain by a strike crew member losing his grip on a large-lensed Leko. It hit the back of a seat a foot away from my head, and crimped itself into a boomerang shape in a split second. Even a roll of gaff tape dropped 20’ can do major damage. Please make safety your middle name, and prostheletize it relentlessly where ever you work.
 

Jay Ashworth

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Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
St Pete FL USA
I'm glad the light missed you, Ben, so that I can tell you the word you were after is "proselytize". :)

All seriousness aside, I don't think it matters so much *how* you tether the wrench to you, as long as you do.
 

Van

CBMod
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Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
"is there a way to get around it"
Why would you want to? Having all your tools for working at height tethered is for the safety of the guy below you and for your financial health.
 

TheaterEd

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Why would you want to?
I'd like to give OP the benefit of the doubt and interpret this as him trying to get around Buying a lanyard for each of his individual tools. Thus, Tie-line on a carabiner should be fine for most of your tools, but I like to have one nicer lanyard for my wrench.

I personally think ground crew electricians should have their wrenches tethered as well to prevent any wrenches flying out on top of the electrics.
 

Conner Jones

Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2018
Location
St.Louis
Also look at other tool lanyards, not all of them are $20.
A quick Amazon search revealed many options below $20, some for below $10.
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias=tools&field-keywords=tool+lanyard&tag=controlbooth-20
Thanks all for your comments.

Honestly, I was just trying to not pay $20 for each tool I want to carry with me. I went ahead and bought a good lanyard on amazon and a value pack of carabiners. (I already have tie line)
I find people get real particular about union rules like this, which is why I asked. Glad to hear the cheap solution is a passable one.
 

gafftapegreenia

CBMod
CB Mods
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Sep 24, 2005
Location
Michigan
This isn’t a “union” rule, it’s OSHA code, which they are getting increasingly strict about. Unionized jobsites are usually better about following safety codes.
 

Amiers

Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.
Joined
May 28, 2009
Location
Phoenix, Az
Thanks all for your comments.

Honestly, I was just trying to not pay $20 for each tool I want to carry with me. I went ahead and bought a good lanyard on amazon and a value pack of carabiners. (I already have tie line)
I find people get real particular about union rules like this, which is why I asked. Glad to hear the cheap solution is a passable one.
You goto a few events/expos and you can generally pick a few up as swag and build your inventories of lanyards and every new one just swap out from your tie line.
 

Chase P.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Location
San Francisco
I was once hit on the head by a wrench dropped out of a man lift roughly 20' above me, so I'm now a convert to the lanyard rule.

Worst part? It was my wrench I loaned to the crew member who dropped it on me. Hard to complain that it should have been tethered when you're the one who should have tethered it!
 

teqniqal

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2009
Location
Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas
Not only a hard hat, but a chin strap and/or tether on it, too. Your hard hat is worthless after falling 10 feet or more (cut it in half and throw it away!), and you are no longer in compliance with the hard hat rule once it falls off your head. We spend an inordinate amount of time bent-over working on tasks below us, a chin strapped hard hat really makes sense. You only get one head, protect it. Yes, you can buy a $5 hard hat at the el-cheapo tool store, or you can invest in a good quality device like the Petzl Vertex or Alveo series product that might just save your life.

If you wear eyeglasses (and/or safety glasses), they should be tethered (back strapped), too.

Good sources for tethers and Dropped Object Prevention Education are:
www.ergodyne.com
www.ty-flot.com
www.dropsonline.org
https://safety.grainger.com/people/dropped-object-prevention
http://www.ehstoday.com/construction/sky-isnt-falling-and-your-tools-shouldnt-either
https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=12750
 

egilson1

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Premium Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Location
Boston, MA
It’s not just when people are working overhead that you need a hard hat. The reality is it’s needed more often than not. We’ve all been ducking under a batten with fixtures on it and you stand up into the next batten. Or in a driveable lift at the ceiling and you back into a sprinkler head. Head trama can happen in many many ways.

And I agree, straps are a must. I wear a pretzel hard hat with an eye shield attached to it. I can also add ear muffs to it too. And an intergrated head lamp.

Let’s keep our noggins safe people!

Ethan
 

jdenora

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Location
Lehigh Valley and the Poconos
So I guess you've never accidentally dropped anything in your entire life... ever. I thought not. Get a lanyard. If you google "coiled lanyards" you'll get a bunch of results for under $20. There's a nice one with a brass dog clip on one end. Clip it to the tool of the moment, and if you need to switch tools, holster the first one and clip the coil to the second one. One lanyard for every tool.

Ask yourself this question: If you were the guy working on the ground, and I was the guy working in the air, would you feel better if I was using a lanyard? If you're fumbling for the right answer, it's an emphatic "Yes."
 

MNicolai

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Sarasota, FL
It's overkill, but I use the Ty-Flot Quick-Switch holster and wrist bands. Usually I have a matte knife and a wrench tethered with it. Sometimes a screw driver.

You don't need to do every tool, because most of your tools never leave ground level. When you get into the one-off uses like you need a pipe wrench or a drill at height, at most venues you can call out "loose tool" or "loose hardware" and alert people to not work below you while you're working with untethered goods. Every venue is different though. In an arena situation, nobody at ground level is going to hear you shouting from the rafters. You need to assume at all times they are oblivious to what you are doing above their heads.

The wrist strap I use actually makes focusing and hanging go faster. Instead of holstering the wrench when I'm going down a light position, I just drop it and let it dangle while I work with a light. Then I flick my wrist and catch the wrench in my hand, work on the next light, drop the wrench, work with the light, flick the wrist to get the wrench back into my hand. Surprisingly efficient over holstering the wrench constantly or shoving it in my pocket.

Has the added benefit of not having a coiled leash or a bit of tieline hanging off of you that you can trip over or get tangled by.

My preference is that even people at ground level tether their wrenches. People love to set their untethered wrenches down on top of power raceways for electrics. Inevitably someone forgets their tool and the electric gets flown out with the tool still sitting on it, ready to fall at any moment. Can't forget your wrench on a raceway if it's tethered to you.
 
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derekleffew

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Senior Team
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Aug 21, 2007
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Las Vegas, NV, USA
The wrist strap I use actually makes focusing and hanging go faster. Instead of holstering the wrench when I'm going down a light position, I just drop it and let it dangle while I work with a light. Then I flick my wrist and catch the wrench in my hand, work on the next light, drop the wrench, work with the light, flick the wrist to get the wrench back into my hand. Surprisingly efficient over holstering the wrench constantly or shoving it in my pocket.

Has the added benefit of not having a coiled leash or a bit of tieline hanging off of you that you can trip over or get tangled by.
Hmm, I work the exact same way but with a 2¢ piece of tieline.
 
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