OSHA launches 'stand down' program to promote fall prevention

New program urges firms to explore ways to prevent jobsite falls, which are a leading cause of death and injury for construction workers.

Fall prevention is the theme of OSHA's "Stand Down" campaign. Photo: Wikimedia C
Fall prevention is the theme of OSHA's "Stand Down" campaign. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
June 02, 2014

Tens of thousands of employers and more than 1 million workers across the country are joining the Occupational Safety and Health Administration from June 2 - 6 in safety stand-downs to focus on saving lives and preventing fatalities from falls in the construction industry.

Falls are the leading cause of death in construction and more than 300 workers lost their lives in falls during 2012. Lack of fall protection is the most frequently cited OSHA violation, proving that these deaths are preventable when employers provide the right safety equipment and properly train workers how to use it.

As a part of the Stand-Down, companies and workers will voluntarily stop work to host safety events focusing on how to prevent these fatalities.

The purpose of the National Fall Prevention Stand-Down is to raise awareness of preventing fall hazards in construction. Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers, accounting for 269 of the 775 construction fatalities recorded in 2012. Those deaths were preventable. Fall prevention safety standards were among the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards, during fiscal year 2012.

What is a Safety Stand-Down?
A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety, this year we are focusing on “Fall Hazards" and to reinforce the importance of "Fall Prevention."

How to Conduct a Safety Stand-Down and FAQ's
Companies can conduct a Safety Stand-Down by taking a break to have a toolbox talk or another safety activity such as conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job specific hazards. Managers are encouraged to plan a stand-down that works best for their workplace anytime during the week of June 2-6, 2014. See Suggestions to Prepare for a Successful "Stand-Down."

The goal is to have over 25,000 employers and 500,000 workers to hold a Stand-Down and if we meet this goal, we will have touched almost 1 out of 10 construction workers in the country.

Who Can Participate?
Participants may include employer’s trade associations, federal, state and local governmental agencies, professional societies, institutes, and consumer/labor-management interest organizations, sub-and independent contractors.

Partners
OSHA is partnering with key groups to assist with this effort, including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), OSHA approved State Plans, State consultation programs, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the National Safety Council, and the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers.

Certificate of Participation
Employers can provide feedback about their Stand-Down and receive a Certificate of Participation signed by the Secretary of Labor, Thomas E. Perez. The page will remain active through July 15, 2014.

Share Your Story With Us
If you want to share information with OSHA on your Safety Stand-Down, Fall Prevention Programs or suggestions on how we can improve future initiatives like this, please send your email to oshastanddown@dol.gov.

         
 

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