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May 30, 2014
Get ready for OSHA's stand-down for fall prevention

OSHA is holding a weeklong, voluntary event as part of its ongoing fall prevention campaign started in 2012. The safety stand-down, scheduled for June 2-6, is intended to raise awareness among employers and workers about the hazards of falls, which are the leading cause of deaths in the construction industry. Keep reading to learn what’s involved and how your workers can benefit.

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OSHA is asking construction employers and workers to pause their workday to discuss topics like ladder safety, scaffolding safety, and roofing work safety. The agency is hoping to attract participation by 25,000 employers and 500,000 workers. If that happens, the stand-down will have touched nearly 1 out of 10 construction workers in the U.S.

How can you participate in OSHA’s safety stand-down?

Businesses can conduct a stand-down by taking a break for a toolbox talk, safety equipment inspection, review of rescue plans, or discussion of specific job hazards. OSHA encourages employers to plan events that meet the needs and culture of their workplaces. Other ideas include the following:

  • Schedule a worksite walkaround to identify hazards and abatements.
  • Plan a lunch-and-learn session with an internal or outside safety expert.
  • Put up special signage to reinforce the fall protection message and your company’s commitment.
  • Send out an eblast with fall protection reminders.
  • Sponsor a quiz among work crews featuring a daily question and answer. Offer a small prize or pizza lunch for the winning team.
  • Ask for employee suggestions on ways to prevent falls at job sites and implement and reward the best ideas.
  • Consider focusing on one fall hazard each day of the week (e.g., falls from ladders, falls from a scaffold, falls through a floor, falls down stairs, and falls from a roof).

OSHA has created a dedicated website, at https://www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown/resources.html, with information about how to prevent falls, provide the right equipment, and train employees in its proper use.  Employers can offer feedback about their stand-down events and download certificates of participation from June 2 through July 15.

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