370 of the 991 construction fatalities recorded in 2016 were the result of falls. Falls are still the primary cause of death for construction workers. OSHA’s annual National Safety Stand-Down is designed to raise awareness and promote fall prevention so that companies can decrease deaths resulting from falls. The lack of proper fall protection is the most frequently cited OSHA violation.
A Voluntary Event to Promote Fall Prevention
The event is a voluntary opportunity for employers to teach and train employees about fall hazards and fall prevention. 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 any time May 6-10.
Who Is Participating?
Although any company can participate, participants frequently include commercial construction companies, residential construction contractors, sub- and independent contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, the U.S. Military, other government participants, unions, employer’s trade associations, institutes, employee interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers.
OSHA has a variety of resources available for companies that want to participate. Check out Suggestions to Prepare for a Successful “Stand-Down” and Highlights from the Past Stand-Downs. OSHA also hosts an Events page with events that are free and open to the public to help employers and employees find events in the local area.