Construction Safety Stand-Down Rescheduled for Mid-September
The 2020 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction has been rescheduled for Sept. 14–18, OSHA recently announced in a press release. The event was postponed earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The annual safety stand-down is intended to raise awareness of the recognition, evaluation, and control of fall hazards and to encourage conversations about industry best practices to prevent falls. According to OSHA, fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers: in 2018, 320 of the 1,008 fatalities recorded in construction were attributed to falls.
“The global pandemic has changed the landscape in which work is done, and the importance of addressing traditional hazards on construction sites while protecting workers against the virus is paramount,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, MD, in an agency update about the event. “This year’s Stand-Down adapts to those needs, and employers who choose to safely set aside time during the workday to educate their workers can become part of a collective community that responds to the needs of the time.”
Workplaces that participated in past years’ safety stand-downs include commercial construction companies, residential construction contractors, subcontractors and independent contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, the U.S. military, other government participants, unions, trade associations, institutes, employee interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers. OSHA encourages any employer who wants to prevent falls in the workplace to participate—either virtually or while using social-distancing practices among small groups. Following the stand-down, employers will be able to download and print a personalized certificate of participation and provide feedback about their experience.
For more information, including resources to help workplaces participate in the event, see OSHA’s safety stand-down home page.