Adobe Stock/Panitan
Adobe Stock/Panitan

For the sixth consecutive year, OSHA is partnering with occupational safety organizations nationwide for the National Fall Prevention Safety Stand-Down, according to the agency. The weeklong event, which will run May 6-10, will focus attention on preventing falls in construction, the leading cause of death in the industry.

Fatalities caused by fall from elevation accounted for 366 of 971 construction fatalities recorded in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Safety Stand-Down aims to raise fall hazard awareness in an effort to prevent such fatalities and injuries.

The national stand-down encourages employers and workers to pause voluntarily during the workday for safety demonstrations, training in hazard recognition and fall prevention, and talks about hazards, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies, goals and expectations.

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.

“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 offers several resources to aid companies planning to participate in the Safety Stand-Down, including a series of fall safety videos to demonstrate how to prevent fall hazards, a fall-prevention training guide, and a fact sheet on ladder safety. The national safety stand-down is part of OSHA's fall prevention campaign and was developed in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the National Occupational Research Agenda, and the Center for Construction Research and Training.

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