OSHA’s fourth annual national safety stand-down will take place May 8–12. The voluntary event is a nationwide effort intended to raise awareness among employers and workers about fall hazards in the workplace, especially in the construction industry. The agency encourages participants to pause a work day during the five-day timeframe to discuss fall hazards and the importance of fall prevention. According to OSHA, fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers: in 2015, 350 of the 937 fatalities recorded in construction were attributed to falls.
Workplaces that previously participated the stand-down include commercial construction companies, residential construction contractors, sub- 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. Following the stand-down, participants will be able to download a certificate of participation from OSHA’s website and provide feedback about their experience.
The safety stand-down is a combined effort by OSHA, NIOSH, and CPWR—The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), among other partners.
“It is through this combined effort and commitment among many partners, employers, and workers that the National Safety Stand-Down has been successful in its reach, and we look forward to the continued investment demonstrated in support of fall prevention,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, MD. “Having a vested interest in standing down operations and taking a moment to emphasize worker safety combats a preventable public health problem and promotes a positive work culture.”
The website for the safety stand-down provides resources to help workplaces participate in the event, including free training materials, videos, and additional educational resources such as fact sheets and posters. Highlights from last year’s stand-down are also available.