Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the details of its Sixth Annual National Fall Prevention Safety Stand-Down. The event, scheduled for the week of May 6–10, is designed to focus attention on preventing falls in construction, which is the leading cause of fatalities in the industry. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, falls accounted for 366 of the 971 construction fatalities recorded in 2017.
Each year, the national stand-down encourages employers and workers to voluntarily pause during the workday for safety demonstrations; training in hazard recognitions and fall prevention; and talks about the company's safety policies, goals and expectations.
In past years, participants in the stand-down have included commercial construction companies of all sizes, residential construction subcontractors, independent contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, unions, employer trade associations, safety equipment manufacturers and the U.S. military.
"Falls can be prevented when employers train and educate workers about these hazards properly and provide appropriate protection," said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. "This should be a priority during the first week of May and must be a priority every day. OSHA has tools readily available for employers and workers to address the prevention of fall hazards."
OSHA is providing information on its site, including a series of fall safety videos for employees, a video for employers titled "5 Ways to Prevent Workplace Falls," OSHA's Fall Prevention Training Guide, and fact sheets on ladders and scaffolding.
Following the week's events, employers who participated will be able to download a Certificate of Participation, and will also be able to share information with OSHA on suggestions to improve future initiatives. Feedback can be directed to OSHA via e-mail at: [email protected]; or on social media at: #StandDown4Safety.