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Workers Stand Down for Fall Safety

Thursday, May 7, 2015

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WASHINGTON, DC—Thousands of employers nationwide are temporarily halting construction work this week and next to speak directly with their workers about falls—the industry's leading cause of death.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is conducting a two-week-long National Safety Stand-Down as part of its ongoing Stop Falls fall-prevention campaign. The Stand-Down kicked off Monday (May 4).

OSHA Stand-down

Last year, more than 5,000 employers talked about fall protection and prevention with more than one million workers during the first national safety stand-down campaign, Perez said.

More than 3,500 workers have died from falls over the last decade, and fall protection is OSHA's most frequently cited violation, the agency said.

The second annual voluntary event aims to shine a national spotlight on preventing these deaths and injuries.

'So Important'

“The construction industry is so important to our economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez.

“We all depend on it every day. It drives growth and prosperity. It generates good, middle-class jobs that can support a family.

OSHA flyer

Stand-Down participants are encouraged to share their experiences on Twitter by using #StandDown4Safety and tagging @USDOL.

“But we have to make sure those jobs are as safe as they can possibly be. That's why fall prevention and this Stand-Down are so important," he said.

Record Goals

During the first national safety stand-down in 2014, more than 5,000 employers talked about fall protection and prevention with more than one million workers, Perez said.

He hopes to see more than three million workers participate at more than 20,000 stand-downs this year.

OSHA’s message to workers and employers is that “safety pays and falls cost.” The agency says three simple steps can prevent falls:

  1. Plan ahead to get the job done safely;
  2. Provide the right equipment; and
  3. Train everyone to use the equipment safely.

Stand-Down Events

Throughout the campaign, employers and workers will pause during their workday to focus on the hazards of falls and how to prevent them, including discussions about fall prevention equipment.

Achitect of the Capitol
Architect of the Capitol

A large safety stand-down was held Wednesday (May 6) at the U.S. Capitol amid a restoration and repair project on the Capitol Dome.

Industry and business leaders, including universities, labor organizations, and community and faith-based groups, have scheduled numerous stand-down events.

In addition, the U.S. Air Force will be hosting events at bases worldwide.

A large safety stand-down was held Wednesday (May 6) at the U.S. Capitol amid a renovation and repair project on the Capitol Dome.

The project’s contractor, Turner Construction, was joined by OSHA representatives and Deputy Labor Secretary Christopher Lu in reminding workers that fall prevention is vital.

Turner also held a stand-down Monday at more than 1,000 job sites across the country, according to a news release. More than 50,000 employees participated. The company has held its own Safety Stand-Down for 11 years.

Lives Lost

In 2013, falls accounted for 291 of the U.S.'s 828 construction fatalities, OSHA said.

Turner Construction

More than 50,000 workers across the United States participated Monday in Safety Stand-Down events conducted by Turner Construction Co.

“Those deaths were preventable,” the agency said.

"The people that fall are not just numbers; they are mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers," said Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.

Campaign Details

Employers interested in hosting a stand-down are encouraged to visit the stand-down website for information, provided in both Spanish and English.

Employers can provide feedback and receive a Certificate of Participation for completed stand-down events signed by the Secretary of Labor.

Stand-down participants are encouraged to share their experiences on Twitter by using #StandDown4Safety and tagging @USDOL.


Tagged categories: Citations; Fall protection; Hazards; Health and safety; OSHA; Safety equipment

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