There’s no denying the fact that injuries – even fatalities – are preventable. To date, falls account for 370 of the 991 construction fatalities recorded in 2016 (BLS data). Falls are continuously the number one cause of death among construction workers, according to OSHA’s Top 10 list of safety violations
This May, get ready to talk about fall prevention and take a stand for change by participating in OSHA’s 5th annual National Safety Stand-Down. The Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary/free event that is open to the public during the week of May 7-11, 2008.
Who Should Participate in Safety Stand-Down?
Industries such as those in commercial construction, residential construction (sub- and independent), highway construction, general industry, the U.S. Military, safety equipment manufacturers, and any industry interested in preventing falls are encouraged to talk with employees about goals and safety expectations to improve the fall prevention programs they currently use.
How to Prepare for a Successful Safety Stand-Down?
Conduct a Safety Stand-Down by motivating others
to participate in a toolbox talk or by organizing a safety activity, such as, safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job-specific hazards.
Here are five tips OSHA suggests following:
- Start early – Designate a coordinator to organize the stand-down. If you have multiple work sites, identify the team that will lead the stand-down at each site.
- Invite all participants - Ask your subcontractors, owners, architects, engineers, foreman, construction workers, and anyone associated with your company to participate.
- Take the time to thoroughly review your fall prevention program – Talk about how to prevent falls from:
- Structural steel
- Floor or roof opening
- Fragile roof surface
4. Consider ways to keep your workers motivated – Provide information about hazard and fall prevention and go over your company’s safety policies. Handing out tangible material, such as hard hat stickers, hands-on exercises, and checklist will increase retention.
5. Promote the stand-down – Ensure all your workers are informed and motivated to participate in the stand-down.
OSHA has partnered with key groups to assist with this movement, including organizations like the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), the U.S. Air Force, and OSHA-approved State Plans. Employers will be able to provide feedback about their Stand-Down experience and download a Certificate of Participation for completion of Stand-Down.
Use this National Safety Stand-Down to make a difference and reinforce the importance of safety. Get your employees excited about the Stand-Down with motivational kits.