In 2019, among the 1,061 construction workers fatalities recorded in the US by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 401 of them were caused by falls. Most of these accidents could have been prevented if adequate safety measures were in place. Many fall fatalities could be avoided by following these 5 basic rules:
- Always use fall protection if you are working at 6 feet or more
- It is the responsibility of the employer to provide each worker with adequate fall protection
- Workers must all be trained on how to use their fall protection equipment
- When starting a job, the first thing to do is to prepare a fall prevention plan
- Harness, lanyard and anchorage points must be inspected before every use
The stand-down is a way to reach out to every construction worker and contractor and refresh their knowledge about fall prevention
It is organized for the 8th consecutive year by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in collaboration with several other organizations such as the Center for Construction Research and Training, the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), the National Safety Council and more.
Anyone who employs construction workers in the US is invited to participate and take some time during this week to stand-down with their workers and focus on fall prevention
The stand-down can have various forms such as:
- A conversation between the workers and the management on actual fall prevention efforts and what can be improved
- A toolbox talk on a specific subject related to fall prevention, for example “how to safely use a A-frame ladder?”
- An inspection of the fall safety equipment
In order to prepare for the Stand-Down OSHA has a list of suggestions that organizers can consult to help them.
More about the Stand-Down can also be found here
Picture: courtesy of OSHA