The 8th annual National Safety Stand-Down to prevent falls in construction is May 3-7, 2021. Workers performing tasks 6 feet or more above lower levels are at risk of fatal falls or serious injuries.
Falls cause more deaths in construction than any other hazard (OSHA website), which is why the National Safety Stand-Down for fall prevention is so important.
Why is it important to prevent falls?
Preventing falls can mean the difference between life and death.
Hundreds of workers die from fall-related accidents each year. Fall-related deaths can be prevented by providing the correct fall protection equipment, and training all workers to use the equipment safely.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 401 of the 1,061 construction fatalities recorded in 2019. Those deaths were preventable. The National Safety Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries.
A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk to employees about safety.
Any workplace can hold a stand-down by taking time to focus on fall hazards and prevention. Employers can also use this time to review with employees about other (non-fall) job hazards, protective methods, and the company's safety policies and goals.
The Safety Stand-Down can also be an opportunity for employees to talk to management about any job hazards they see.
According to OSHA, companies can easily conduct a Safety Stand-Down by taking a break to have a toolbox talk or other safety activity such as conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job-specific hazards. The OSHA website also has an Events page that shows events that are free and open to the public.
OSHA encourages employees to use the three P’s for fall prevention:
PLAN ahead to get the job done safely.
PROVIDE the right equipment.
TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely.
Following the Safety Stand-Down, employers can download a Certificate of Participation.