Fatalities caused by falls continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees. Lack of proper fall protection remains the most frequently cited violation by OSHA. In response to the number of fall related injuries and fatalities, OSHA launched its National Safety Stand-Down Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction. The annual event strives to raise fall hazard awareness. The 4th annual National Fall Prevention Stand-Down will take place May 8-12, 2017.
The National Safety Stand-Down Campaign is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. A workplace can hold a stand-down by taking a break to focus on fall hazards and reinforcing the importance of fall prevention. It’s an opportunity for employers to have a conversation with employees about hazards, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies and goals. It can also be an opportunity for employees to talk to management about fall hazards they see.
Anyone who wants to prevent falls in the workplace can participate in the Stand-Down campaign. In past years, participants included 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. Thus far, the annual Stand‐Down campaign has reached an estimated 5 million workers.
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 during the week of May 8-12, 2017.
FAQs about OSHA’s Safety Stand-Down campaign are available here. OSHA also hosts an events page with events that are free and open to the public.