TapeCraft® Energy Absorbing Tool Tether

April 28, 2017 YKK USA

Tape Craft Corporation, a wholly owned division of YKK USA, is a manufacturer of engineered narrow textiles. Tape Craft offers a comprehensive line of safety products to help workers remain safe on the job.

One area of focus recently at Tape Craft has been tool tethers.  While workers working at height are required to wear fall protection equipment (harness, lanyard, anchor device, etc.), there are no current regulations in place mandating the same protection equipment be utilized for their belongings (tools, bags, supplies, etc.).  Most Safety PPE manufactures are starting to offer a comprehensive line of tool tethers.  Being a major supplier to these companies, Tape Craft has developed a complete line of tool tethers, to include tethers with energy absorbing characteristics.

Testing by the safety industry has shown that objects dropped at height are a very serious issue. The issues include (but not limited to) falling objects striking workers & causing injury below as well objects falling and causing property damage.  The testing has also shown that even tools that are tethered can cause safety concerns to the worker due to the forces generated by the weight of the tool or object falling as well as the fall event itself.  For example, testing has shown that a 30 pound tool dropped 100 inches produces forces in excess of 1300 pounds.  This type of event can cause serious injury to the worker.

Here is a graph showing the forces generated when performing a simulated fall of a tool.  The weight used was 36 pound rigid weight.  The red line represents a rigid piece of flat, static webbing (limited elongation) and generated 1333 pounds of force.  The blue line represents an energy absorbing tool tether dropped 70 inches and it only generated 301 pounds of force.  The green line represents the same energy absorbing tool tether and when dropped 48 inches it only generated 198 pounds of force.  As you can see, the energy absorbing materials create a much safer tool tether for the worker to use. 

<Energy absorbing Tool Tether Test>

Tape Craft offers two types of tool tethers: energy absorbing tool tethers and non energy absorbing tool tethers. These tethers can be designed with many different performance characteristics: working load limit, maximum arrest force mitigation, extension, chemical exposure, FR, etc. The application really determines which tool lanyard works best for each worker. Tape Craft's Development team works closely with many safety PPE manufacturers to develop appropriate products to service the needs of their customers.

For more information on TapeCraft® Tool Tethers and other TapeCraft® webbing products, contact Kelly Rowe at 804-477-3690 or kellyrowe@ykk-tapecraft.com.


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