OSHA promotes safety ‘stand-down’ to prevent construction falls

Ladder-imageFalls from heights continue to be a leading cause of death among construction workers, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Each year, on average, between 200 and 250 workers are killed and more than 100,000 are injured as a result of falls at construction sites.

As part of a National Fall Prevention Stand-Down June 2-6, OSHA asks employers to provide additional training to workers in an effort to reduce falls. During stand-down week, construction companies are asked to plan a focused “toolbox talk” at job locations to emphasize safe use of ladders, fall protection equipment and scaffolds. OSHA’s goal is to have more than 25,000 employers and 500,000 workers hold a stand-down. If that goal is met, the effort will have touched almost 1 out of 10 construction workers in the country.

“Falls account for more than a third of all deaths in this industry,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “We’re working with employers, workers, industry groups, state OSH plans, and civic and faith-based organizations to host safety stand-downs that focus on recognizing hazards and preventing falls. We are getting the message out to America’s employers that safety pays and falls cost.”

To aid employers in planning stand-downs, OSHA has published a variety of posters, safety guides, wallet cards, videos and other educational materials at its safety stand-down website. Most materials are available in English and Spanish; some items are also available in Polish, Russian or Portuguese. After their events are completed, participating employers will be able to log onto the website to download certificates of participation for their workers and provide feedback about the program.

For assistance with your safety efforts, please contact your local independent insurance agent or visit Cincinnati Insurance’s Loss Control Services page.

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