The National Safety Stand-down: Preventing Falls in Construction

Last week over one million workers and 25,000 businesses took part in OSHA’s National Safety Stand-down to Prevent Falls in Construction. This was a voluntary event that encouraged employers across the country to speak with their employees about fall hazards and fall prevention measures.

Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, with fall prevention one of the most frequently cited OSHA standards. This event was designed to help educate both workplaces and employees on ways that injuries and fatalities from falls can be prevented.

OSHA also provided eight helpful suggestions for how an organization could hold their own fall prevention stand-down:

1. Start early so the stand-down is organized, coordinated and everyone involved understands their role and duties.

2. Ask everyone involved with your project to participate (ex. subcontractors, owner, architects, etc.).

3. Review your fall prevention program for a more effective stand-down.

4. Establish key messages, goals and activities that will fit your workplace needs.

5. Determine the date and length of the stand-down.

6. Actively promote the stand-down.

7. Hold the stand-down.

8. Review the success of your stand-down and make changes accordingly.

The National Safety Stand-down last week was a chance for employers to speak directly with their employees about safety on construction sites, specifically fall prevention. Safety stand-downs provide a key opportunity for workplaces to have an open door stream of communication, making employees comfortable enough to reach out to employers about unsafe conditions or concerns. Last week’s collaborative efforts were a great start to “standing down for safety” to save lives.

Employers who participated in the nation-wide Safety Stand-Down can provide feedback about their Stand-Down to receive a “Certificate of Participation,” signed by the Secretary of Labor, Thomas E. Perez.

For more information you can check out the June 6, 2014 edition of Intelex’s EHS This Week podcast that covers the National Safety Stand-down, as well as other top headlines in the world of environment, health and safety!

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