OSHA Announces National Stand-Down for Fall Prevention

OSHA has announced a national safety stand-down from June 2 to June 6, 2014 to raise awareness about the hazards of falls, which account for the highest number of deaths in the construction industry. In order to conduct a safety stand-down, a construction company should stop working at a specific designated time and provide a focused toolbox talk on a safety topic such as ladder safety, fall protection equipment, or scaffolds safety. The purpose of the meeting is to provide information to workers about hazards, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies, goals, and expectations.

“Falls account for more than a third of all deaths in this industry,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “We’re working with employers, workers, industry groups, state OSH plans, and civic and faith-based organizations to host safety stand-downs that focus on recognizing hazards and preventing falls. We are getting the message out to America’s employers that safety pays and falls cost.”

The goal is to have over 25,000 employers and 500,000 workers hold a stand-down. If this goal is met, almost 1 out of 10 construction workers in the country will have been reached. OSHA has launched an official national safety stand-down website and OSHA’s suggestions for a successful stand-down may be found here. In addition, fall prevention educational materials and resources for employers to use during the stand-down may be found here.

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