OSHA’s 7th annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls start September 14th and runs through September 18th this year. Each year OSHA brings together employees and employers to participate in the stand-down to draw attention to the concerns around falls in the workplace. Falls are the leading cause of fatal workplace accidents for all construction trades. The most recent BLS data shows that more than 30% (320 total falls) of all construction worker deaths in the workplace are attributed to a fall of some type.
OSHA and most safety and health authorities believe that all workplace falls are preventable. This does not necessarily mean that falls will not occur, but it does mean that no fall should be fatal. Careful planning and resource allocation can prevent most falls. When employees participate in safety programs combined with proper resources and planning falls are unlikely to occur. This stand-down is an ideal opportunity for employees to participate in your fall prevention program.
Stand-downs are easy to do, it takes only some time and some printed materials (included) to share with your work crews. A stand-down is not necessarily a training or a toolbox talk, it is a separate conversation where company officials, employee leaders, and tradecrafts can discuss the importance of safety and health in the workplace rather than teaching a specific skill. A stand-down is a good opportunity to share your safety stats, new initiatives, and to reinforce the good work that employees are doing to prevent incidents. Along with the update, you can provide a brief refresher of site safety expectations and answer any site specific or program specific questions.
The following activities are ideal for your fall prevention stand-down:
- Small group discussion about site fall hazards and ways to mitigate them
- Visit by senior leadership to discuss the importance of safety with employees
- Question and Answer session with senior leadership and safety department
- Guided review of year to date and prior years safety metrics
- High level review of site fall protection rules and equipment practices
- Guided equipment inspection or equipment fit review
- Employee led fall hazard discussion
- Supervisor or foreman lead safety culture discussion
No matter what type of activity you plan you should provide some handouts or other multimedia materials so that you reach every employee. This update includes several sample documents you can use to host your stand-downs. Always take attendance and create a written record of your activities.
This year the stand-downs will look a little bit different but will still have the same meaning and value. If you need assistance or resources for your stand-down this year please contact your Risk Control representative or email [email protected].
Please note that the information contained in this posting is designed to provide general awareness in regard to the subject matter covered. It is not provided as legal, medical, or tax advice, nor is it intended to address all concerns in your workplace or for public health. No representation is made as to the sufficiency for your specific company’s needs. This post should be reviewed by your legal counsel or tax consultant before use.