Fall prevention the focus of safety stand-down

Preventing falls is a key concern in construction.

Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers, accounting for 279 of the 806 construction fatalities recorded in 2012.

Those deaths were preventable.

During fiscal year 2014, fall prevention safety standards were among the top 10 most frequently cited Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations.

Awareness Campaign

This year’s National Fall Prevention Stand-Down aims to raise safety awareness in the construction industry with a goal of preventing fall hazards. The theme is: Stand tall, stand proud and Stand-Down for fall safety.

OSHA encourages construction employers to conduct a voluntary safety stand-down at each job site between May 4 and 15 to discuss safety and fall prevention. A safety stand-down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety.

Targeted are:

  • commercial construction companies of all sizes
  • residential construction contractors
  • sub-contractors
  • independent contractors
  • highway construction companies
  • general industry employers
  • the U.S. military
  • government participants
  • unions
  • employer trade associations and institutes
  • worker interest organizations
  • safety equipment manufacturers
  • One educational resource available is the Fall Protection Resource for New Home Construction compiled by faculty at the Washington University in St. Louis and supported by the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The site catalogs dozens of fall protection devices and systems, describing how to use the devices and at what stage of construction each is appropriate. The tool also provides links to vendors and cost estimates.
  • More information and resources for employers and workers are available at the Stop Falls Stand-Down website.

After the Stand-Down, employers will be able to provide feedback and download a Certificate of Participation signed by Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. Last year’s Stand-Down – the first ever – included self-reported participation by 4,882 organizations reaching at least 770,000 individuals.

For information about Stand-Down events open to the public, visit the Events page on OSHA’s website or contact the Stand-Down coordinator in your OSHA region.

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