Blog / Tethered Tools

What correct tool tethering looks like: a photo guide to the best tool lanyards and tethers.

Julian Aris

December 12, 2017

In this photo guide, we show you ‘how to do it’ and ‘how not to do it’! The best way to use tool lanyards to tether your tools is, in part, down to personal preference but there are important safety factors to consider first.

We have illustrated two recognised and approved ways to tether tools from your wrist or from your tool belt.

Wrist Tool Lanyard Tethering System

NLG Wrist Tool Lanyard for Stopping Dropped Hand Tools

(In this image: NLG Wristband, Short Coiled Tool Lanyard, Tether Tape™ and Non-Conductive D Ring Tool Tether)

The benefits of tethering from your wrist include:

  • Low snagging risk because of reduced length of the tool lanyard
  • Very compact solution, making it ideals for confined work areas
  • Lightweight componentry means that it remains comfortable, even with prolonged use

We do not recommend attaching any tool over 1.5kg to the wrist, as the force generated from heavier tools could cause strain to the user if dropped.

Tool Belt / Waist Tool Lanyard Tethering System

NLG Tool Lanyard System for Tethering Tools at Height

(In this image: Belt Loop Anchor, Coiled Tool Lanyard, Tether Tape™ and Large D Ring Tool Tether)

The benefits of tethering from a tool belt include:

Versatile, heavy-duty system suitable for most tools
Multiple tools can be tethered and holstered, available for immediate use
Large range of tool lanyards allows for different configuration options
Only tether tools up to 2.5kg of the waist/tool belt. Heavier tools and objects should be attached to a secure, load-rated anchor point.

How not to tether tools!

Here are some examples of incorrectly tethered tools.

We’ve found barrel locks on tool lanyards can cause confusion and lead to misuse. That’s why ours don’t feature barrel locks. Instead, NLG’s tool lanyards utilise a plain, heavy-duty loop (Dyneema® webbing option) which can be securely cinched around the tether or anchor point.

How barrel lock tool lanyard misunderstanding can lead to misuse

Rather than attaching a tool lanyard directly to the tool, it is always beneficial to create a tether point first. This allows you to quickly change between tools, whilst working from one tool lanyard. Remember to only use certified NLG Tether Tape™ on tools, as other tapes will not be load tested and rated.

Incorrect tool tethering of a handheld radio

A regular maintenance programme is essential to ensure tether points still meet the necessary operational standards. Any damaged tethers or tool lanyards should be taken out of service immediately. Remeber, different work environments will bring different levels of demand on your tools and lanyards which is why you should always inspect before use.

Poor tool tethering practice and maintenance

When Tether Tape™ is used, the catch of the D Ring should always be exposed. Excessive use of tape could potentially conceal wear on the tether point and will prevent you from making a proper inspection.

Tool lanyards should be inspected before use to ensure compliance

Whilst anyone can fit tool tethers, we always recommend that users are adequately trained to ensure tool tethers are correctly applied to the tool and are aware of the dangers that dropped objects bring.

The pursuit of a safer workplace and staying abreast of the latest safety innovations can bring a lot of pressure! That’s why we wanted to make your life a little easier with our Interactive Guide to Tool Tethering. You can use this to quickly find the best tool lanyards and tethers for your tools.
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