As you may know, fatalities caused by falls are a leading cause of death for construction workers. In 2012, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), such falls accounted for 279 of the 806 construction-related deaths recorded that year.
OSHA is working to help curb those numbers, as these deaths were preventable. Their campaign, called the National Fall Prevention Stand Down,” will take place from May 4-15 this year. OSHA is encouraging companies to take time out at some point during the campaign to discuss safety. Topics might include equipment inspections, rescue plans, or specific job hazards.
Last year, the Safety Stand Down was a huge success, with more than 1 million workers across the country taking part. This year, the goal is to reach more than 3 million people. If that happens, OSHA adds on its website, “we will have touched almost 4 out of 10 construction workers in the country.” Anyone who wants to prevent falls in the workplace can participate.
Based on comments from some of the participants last year, the talks do have an important impact on workers. Among the reviews that were posted:
“In April of 2013, we ourselves experienced a great loss to our community, when we lost one of our own to a fall at our plant. This being so close to the anniversary has great impact. Safety training, cultural change and fall protection in all areas has reached a whole new level.”
“Our training consisted of a blend of hands-on, storytelling and safety information related to ladders and PFAs, in both English and Spanish to communicate in an effective manner to all employees. As the result of the Stand-Down training, our employees are better trained to be aware of fall hazards in the construction industry.”
“We asked the crew to tell stories from their work experience about falls they had witnessed. This was a sobering talk for many of the younger workers who may not have witnessed the consequences of not tying off.”
On its website, OSHA lists a variety of ideas for those wanting to host their own Stand Down events. For more information, click here.