Reducing the hazards of working at height starts with the correct personal fall protection equipment, combined with the proper training, risk assessment, and safety culture required to form a complete fall protection safety system for both the work application and environment. (Honeywell Industrial Safety photo)

OSHA, Partners Set for Sixth National Fall Prevention Safety Stand-Down

The sixth annual National Fall Prevention Safety Stand-Down, which takes place May 6-10, will focus on preventing falls in construction, as falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the industry.

OSHA is partnering with several safety organizations for the sixth annual National Fall Prevention Safety Stand-Down. The week-long event, taking place May 6-10, will focus on preventing falls in construction, as falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the industry.

The national safety stand-down encourages employers and employees to pause voluntarily during the workday to participate in safety demonstrations, hazard recognition and fall prevention training, and discussions about hazards, protective methods, and the company's safety policies, goals, and expectations.

"Falls can be prevented when employers train and educate workers about these hazards properly and provide appropriate protection," said Loren Sweatt, acting assistant secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. "This should be a priority during the first week of May and must be a priority every day. OSHA has tools readily available for employers and workers to address the prevention of fall hazards."

OSHA anticipates that thousands of work sites and millions of workers will observe the stand down worldwide this year. The agency's fall prevention website provides information on how to conduct a successful event, as well as educational resources in English and Spanish that include:

  • A series of fall safety videos that demonstrate how to prevent fall hazards from floor openings, skylights, fixed scaffolds, bridge decking, reroofing, and leading edge work.
  • OSHA's Fall Prevention Training Guide, which provides a lesson plan for employers, including several Toolbox Talks.
  • Fact sheets on ladders and scaffolding that describe the safe use of these types of equipment while performing construction activities.
  • A brief video, "5 Ways to Prevent Workplace Falls," encouraging employers to develop a fall prevention plan and to provide workers with fall protection and training.

Employers are encouraged to provide feedback after their events and to obtain a personalized certificate of participation.

The national safety stand-down is part of OSHA's fall prevention campaign. OSHA developed the stand-down in partnership with NIOSH, the National Occupational Research Agenda, and CPWR, The Center for Construction Research and Training.

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