From May 2–6, OSHA will hold its third annual Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction. The event, which reached some 4 million employees in 2014 and 2015, most in construction, is intended to raise awareness of preventing fall hazards, which accounted for 337 of the 874 preventable construction fatalities recorded in 2014. Keep reading to learn more about the stand-down and get tips for holding a successful stand-down at your facility.
Anyone can get involved, and while OSHA and its partners (including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and CPWR) offer recommendations and resources, there is no one right way to participate, says Dean McKenzie, deputy director of OSHA’s directorate of construction. “The stand down has taken off like it has because it resonates with everyone. We’ve all been exposed to a fall at some point in our working career.” Calling the issue of workplace falls “huge,” McKenzie points to some 700,000 incidents per year. Fall protection in construction is consistently OSHA’s most frequently cited violation.
According to OSHA’s stand-down webpage (https://www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown), companies may wish to take a break for a toolbox talk or other safety activity, such as conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job-specific hazards. Keep reading for tips for a successful stand-down.