Date of Award

August 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Naira H. Campbell-Kyureghyan

Committee Members

Wilkistar A. Otieno, Mohammad H. Rahman


Biomechanics, Hand Tools, Tethered Tools


Struck-by injuries and death caused by dropped objects continue to be a prevalent problem in industries where work is conducted at height. Securing objects from height with tethers, especially hand tools used to conduct work, and an increase in regulatory oversight would reduce these incidences. To date, no research has been conducted to investigate tethered tool usage patterns in industry to include user preference, task performance and the biomechanical impact of using tethered tools in lieu of their untethered counterparts. Due to the lack of information on tethered tool usage, it was necessary to develop and distribute a survey to gather data on tethered tool usage patterns, tool carrying methods, drop history and perceived risks while working at height. This thesis is a two-part study aimed at 1) identifying tethered tool usage trends in industries that conduct work at height and 2) identifying the biomechanical impact of using a tether on a tool to conduct in comparison to using the tool without a tether. Study 1 found that when employers provided tethered tools and means of carrying tethered tool, their usage was significantly increased. Study 2 found that tethered tool usage resulted in no statistically significant biomechanical impact to the user when conducting a task.