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Setting the standard in shutdowns: why tool tethering is necessary for high-risk industries such as mining, oil or gas

by Adam Green 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 do 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

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 the reviewed workplace to use best-in-class tool tethering equipment, such as GRIPPS 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. As a result, 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 here.  Though if you are still unsure about GRIPPS solutions being the right choice, perhaps a direct testimonial from a mining industry worker will give added peace of mind... 
GRIPPS recently asked HSE Lead Thadius Hobbs from Rio Tinto for insight into his experience dealing with GRIPPS. Thadius stated:

'[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.' 

GRIPPS Training & 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 GRIPPS products incorporate their existing tools and equipment. When face-to-face visitations are not practical, GRIPPS offers virtual meetings which can be held via 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. In fact, GRIPPS has just released a new 100% online training program on tool tethering and dropped object prevention, available from $25 per module. The training program doesn’t require any previous experience with tool tethering and provides easily digestible content for users. You can learn more here if you are interested in training your team.  
A core product for shutdowns and maintenance workers – GRIPPS C5 Eco Impact

Possibly one of the most sought-after products for mining, oil, and gas workers is industrial safety gloves. GRIPPS latest glove release, 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 C5 Eco Impact was the initial release to the GRIPPS Eco Range. 

C5 Eco Impact S21628 by GRIPPS

This glove can be ideal for shutdown workers as it allows you to tether small hand tools directly to the glove. No more necessary belts and long tether lanyards are required. The in-built D-Ring adds actual practicality to workers at height. The whole 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. (GRIPPS' extensive selection of tool bags, tethers, work belts, mats, and other unique drop prevention equipment offers plenty to consider too!) 
On top of the great comfort and load-rated tether anchor point, the C5 Eco Impact 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 gloves provide a CO ² reduction of 227grams per pair. In addition, GRIPPS manufacturing process for the C5 Eco Impact even provides energy savings of .387kwph per pair and water consumption savings of 5.15ltr per pair. The GRIPPS C5 Eco Impact can be a sound choice for workers at height across industrial industries. Learn more about the C5 Eco Impact here. 


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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