Monday (May 3rd) marked the beginning of OSHA’s 2021 National Safety Stand Down to Prevent Falls in Construction. OSHA promotes the week as an opportunity for those working in the construction industry to learn about, and prevent, fall hazards. Falls are one of OSHA’s “Fatal Four,” which are the top four causes of fatalities in the construction industry. The others being electrical exposure, struck-by and caught-in/between situations.
All of those incidents are avoidable and yet they account for the deaths of hundreds of workers in the industry every year. To combat the situation, OSHA developed National Safety Stand Down week, the first of which was held in 2012. Although the numbers have vastly improved, far too many people are dying in fall-related accidents that are preventable.
A Safety Stand-Down is a perfect opportunity to talk to employees about fall hazards and fall prevention. However, OSHA realizes that not every employee may be exposed to fall hazards. Employees whose work does not place them near fall hazards can still discuss safety concerns that they may have with management. Management should be receptive to hearing suggestions from employees about how safety can be improved and recognize those that provide actionable feedback.
Take some time to walk around your office or jobsite. Identify hazards along with steps for mitigation. You can also have your organization’s safety expert host a webinar or Zoom meeting explaining the hazards that are at your location. Make sure that employees know what their rights and responsibilities are as it relates to working in a safe environment.
Anyone can host a Safety Stand-Down! Besides the obvious, being construction, there are numerous industries whose workers can benefit from having a Safety Stand-Down. Your organization does not need to hold a toolbox talk or awareness events every day during the entire week. But nonetheless, recognizing safety hazards in your office or jobsite lets employees know that management genuinely cares about their safety and well-being. This bolsters the team atmosphere that many organizations crave while improving morale among employees and positioning an organization as a preferred place to work.
For more information about how you can get involved or to access free resources like multi-lingual posters and other material, visit OSHA’s website at https://www.osha.gov/stop-falls-stand-down.
OSHA encourages organizations to share suggestions or compelling stories with them via firstname.lastname@example.org and across social media with the hashtag #StandDown4Safety.
Contact Walden’s safety experts at (516) 701-1681.