OSHA Raises Awareness for Fall Hazards in May

The week of May 4 through 8 is OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down—meant to raise awareness about fall hazards in construction.

This year, the week of May 4 through May 8 will be a national day to recognize a tragic reality for many construction workers: fall hazards. OSHA has been recognizing National Safety Stand-Down week for seven consecutive years in order to raise awareness about the threats of working at heights and preventing falls.

According to OSHA, fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be the leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 320 of the 1,008 construction fatalities recorded in 2018.

The worst part? Those deaths were preventable.

Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety and reinforce fall prevention methods. Employers of companies not exposed to fall hazards can also use this opportunity to talk about other workplace hazards with their employees and the company’s safety policies and goals.

Anyone can participate. In years past, participation has not been limited to construction companies—other groups have joined like general industry employers, the U.S. Military, other government participants, unions, employer’s trade associations, institutes, and safety equipment manufacturers.

OSHA isn’t doing this alone, however. It’s partnering with other groups for this effort including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), OSHA approved State Plans, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the National Safety Council, the National Construction Safety Executives (NCSE), the U.S. Air Force, and the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers.

Want to participate but not sure where to start? OSHA has a number of helpful ideas for figuring out what stand-down works best for your workplace. See Suggestions to Prepare for a Successful “Stand-Down” and Highlights from the Past Stand-Downs. OSHA also hosts an Events page with events that are free and open to the public to help employers and employees find events in your area.

Don’t forget to contact your Regional Stand-Down Coordinator if you plan to host a free event open to the public.

Employers will be able to provide feedback about their Stand-Down and download a Certificate of Participation following the Stand-Down. The certificate pages will be active on May 4, 2020, for employers to enter their information and print their certificate.

Don’t forget to also share your experience on social media platforms. After all, this is about raising awareness and sharing information. You can email [email protected] and share your story on social media using the hashtag #StandDown4Safety.

Go to the OSHA Stand-Down page for other information, resources, and highlights about the awareness week. No one should fall victim to hazards at heights if we can prevent it.

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