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Setting the standard in shutdowns: the importance of tool tethering in high-risk industries like mining, oil and gas

by GRIPPS Global 27 Sep 2022

When it comes to worksite shutdowns, whether you operate in mining, oil, or gas, the type of preparation and caution around dropped objects is similar between industries. Shutdown and maintenance crews have a substantial amount of work to do in a short period, and when it comes to safety, they cannot afford to take chances.

The risk of corrosion, defects in machinery or structures, loose items, forgotten tools, or other objects potentially left behind are all common threats to dropped object incidents.

So how can you help improve the safety of shutdown staff? One method is ensuring tools used at heights are always tethered and helping set a standard for each workplace.

Mining Site

Are there tool tethering standards for shutdown workers?

All workers at height need to tether their tools for the safety of bystanders. However, tool tethering is not always applied, or at times, done incorrectly. Shutdown or maintenance crews can help set a standard for tool tethering best practices by including recommendations in reports and post-inspection assessments for best-in-class tool tethering equipment, such as the GRIPPS® range of products.

Whether you are tethering a single screwdriver or need to tether a heavy power tool, GRIPPS® provides an extensive range of tool tethering solutions for workers at height. Responsible for inspections, equipment compliance, reports, and structure compliance, shutdown and maintenance crews have many checks to complete.

Safety inspections on mining sites, oil rigs, or chemical/gas plants should always include a detailed assessment whether workers at height have adequate tool tethering in place. No "one-size-fits-all" solution exists for tool tethering. GRIPPS® offers worksite audits for shutdowns/turnarounds to facilitate recommendations for all industrial companies. If you are interested in a consultation, you can contact us.

If you are unsure if a GRIPPS® engineered solution is the right choice, perhaps a direct testimonial from a mining industry worker will give added peace of mind...

'[Rio Tinto] were interested in the GRIPPS equipment as it had been recommended by different workgroups when discussing how to best control dropped object potential - we reached out to Jeff and the team, and we are glad we did! Jeff came all the way to the Pilbara to review our scopes of work and then recommend the right equipment for us to use.'

Can GRIPPS® offer training and education for shutdown workers?

At GRIPPS®, we strive to do business face-to-face and give our customers hands-on experience with our product range. This difference helps our customers understand how our range of products integrate with their existing tools and equipment.

When face-to-face meetings are not practical, GRIPPS® offers virtual meetings which can be held from the GRIPPS® Academy to demonstrate our products. GRIPPS® also offers tool tethering training solutions for shutdown/maintenance teams to help educate the benefits of tool tethering and showcase unique industry products.

GRIPPS® offers a 100% online training program on tool tethering and dropped object prevention. The training program doesn’t require any previous experience with tool tethering and provides easily digestible content for users.

Does GRIPPS® offer any core products aimed at shutdown and maintenance workers?

Possibly one of the most sought-after products for mining, oil, and gas workers is industrial safety gloves. The GRIPPS® C5 Eco Impact Glove, is a ground-breaking, carbon-neutral, impact protective glove with an embedded tether anchor point. Constructed from recycled plastic and nitrile rubber, the GRIPPS® C5 Eco Impact Glove was the initial release to the GRIPPS® Eco Range.

C5 Eco Impact S21628 by GRIPPS
This glove is ideal for shutdown workers as it allows you to tether small hand tools directly to the glove. No unnecessary belts and long tether lanyards are required. The in-built D-Ring adds actual practicality to workers at height.

The entire range of gloves from GRIPPS® includes in-built D-Rings for anchoring. As a result, GRIPPS® gloves can be a great starting point for shutdown/maintenance tool tethering solutions.

On top of the comfort and load-rated tether anchor point, the GRIPPS® C5 Eco Impact Glove features high-impact protection on the top side of the glove, including thick rubber nitrile protection, which still permits an excellent level of dexterity for the user.

Many industrial companies operating in the mining, oil, and gas are on a mission to help better reduce carbon emissions. The GRIPPS® C5 Eco Impact Glove provide a CO² reduction of 227grams per pair. In addition, the GRIPPS® manufacturing process for the GRIPPS® C5 Eco Impact Glove provides energy savings of 0.387kwph per pair and water consumption savings of 5.15ltr per pair.

The GRIPPS® C5 Eco Impact Glove is a sound choice for workers at height across industrial industries.

Shutdown planning is vital to running major mines, oil rigs, or LNG plants. Scheduled shutdowns enable these facilities to mitigate risks better, improve safety and help with overall efficiency. Without scheduled shutdowns, worksites could fall into the risk of requiring an unplanned shutdown as a result of a tragic or near-miss incident. If you or your team are responsible for site shutdowns or regular maintenance, get in touch with GRIPPS® today to discuss the wide range of products or training solutions available to your workers at height.

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