Falls from elevation continue to be the leading cause of deaths in the construction industry. In fact, according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, this category alone accounts for nearly a third of all construction worker fatalities.
This year, OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down is running from September 14th-18th. The goal of this nationwide event is to raise awareness of the hazards associated with working at elevation and to help prevent future fatalities. OSHA invites any employer to participate, particularly those in industries like construction where the nature of the work often involves working on elevated surfaces.
Here are a few ideas for tailoring stand-down events to meet the unique needs of your own business:
Examine your company’s fall protection program
Analyze risks unique to your employees. Questions to ask include:
- Where are falls most likely to happen on your job sites?
- Does your fall prevention program need to be revised?
- Is there a formal system in place for training new and existing employees on fall prevention strategies?
- What fall protection equipment are you currently using?
- Is your fall protection equipment inspected regularly and is there newer, safer gear now available?
Invite employees to stand-down themed meetings
No one knows the day-to-day fall hazards like the people who experience them daily. Set aside time for your crews to come together and talk about fall hazards they’ve experienced, get their feedback, and welcome their suggestions for improvement. If you have multiple job sites, schedule a stand-down listening session for each.
Encourage subcontractors, vendors, and industry partners to join you
The stand-down is only effective if people participate. Encourage companies you work with to hold their own stand-down events or partner with you to hold joint ones.
For more information on the National Safety Stand-Down check out the following resources:
- OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down website
- OSHA’s suggestions for hosting your own stand-down events
- Highlights from the past six National Safety Stand-Downs
If you want to learn more about our OSHA fall protection training for your employees, please give us a call at (864) 979-6676. We’re happy to answer any questions you have.