May 4-15th, 2015 OSHA will host the second annual Fall Safety Stand-Down to prevent falls within the construction industry. As falls remain one of OSHA’s designated Fatal Four hazards in the construction industry, the annual safety stand-down was created to promote awareness regarding fall protection.
In 2013, 291 deaths resulted from falls from heights, making falls, yet again, the leading cause of death in construction. Considering these facts, it is not surprising that fall prevention safety standards are consistently in the top ten most frequently cited OSHA standards. Falls are 100% preventable, thus, OSHA aims to draw attention to fall hazards and preventative measures.
What Is a Safety Stand-Down?
A safety stand-down is a voluntary event in which employers speak directly to their employees about safety. Generally, a safety stand-down will have a specific topic or focus, in this case, fall hazards and fall prevention. The goal of the safety stand-down is to bring attention to fall hazards in an effort to reduce the volume of incidents related to falls in construction.
Who Can Participate?
Anyone can participate in the stand-down! All those who have an interest in preventing falls in the workplace are invited to participate in the safety stand-down. A list of events is available here, and employers will be able to download a Certificate of Participation signed by Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez following the stand-down. Employers are also invited to provide feedback on their stand-down, and share event information with OSHA.
What to Do?
Between May 4-15th, 2015, host a safety meeting, or toolbox talk with employees about fall hazards. Other activities include conducting fall safety equipment inspections, developing and discussing rescue plans, reviewing fall protection policy, or discussing job-site specific fall hazards.
The first annual stand-down in 2014 saw a great response. Over 1 million workers were reached through stand-downs. It is OSHA’s goal to have 20, 000 stand-downs for 2015 between May 4-15th, which will reach about 3 million workers. If this goal is achieved, 4 out of 10 construction workers in the USA will have been reached. For more information, check out the OSHA website, and be sure to stay tuned on Safeopedia for a daily safety moment during the stand-down.