National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction 2021 is May 3rd through 7th. Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to rise and be the leading cause of death for construction employees - 1,061 construction fatalities recorded in 2019... and those deaths were preventable.
The Stand-Down was originally conceived by OSHA in 2014 as part of the National Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction to raise awareness surrounding the severity of fall hazards in construction and the importance of preventing them. In a construction setting, the term "safety stand-down" is used to describe a wide variety of activities where normal work is paused and the entire site focuses on a particular safety issue. While some employers may use stand-downs to call attention to specific hazards present on their site as an intervention, the Campaign has adopted the use of the stand-down to draw attention to fall hazards in a nationwide week-long event. It's an opportunity for employers to pause work and have a conversation with workers about fall hazards, protective methods, and the company's safety policies, goals, and expectations. This is also an opportunity for workers to talk to management about fall hazards they see!
When working from heights, employers must plan projects to ensure that the job is done safely. Workers who are six feet or more above lower levels are at risk for serious injury or death if they should fall. To protect your staff and keep up with OSHA regulations, it's important to know the basics of fall protection.
If your employees are working on elevated workstations, overhead platforms, or in confined spaces, they need to have the right fall protection systems. Specific job sites also require additional means for fall prevention such as safety harnesses and lifelines. In most situations, an elevation of four feet or more necessitates fall protection.
To help prevent falls, OSHA requires employers to:
A common fall arrest system includes an anchor, harness, and connectors (such as a self-retracting lifeline). These systems are designed to lock if a worker falls, preventing them from hitting the ground and becoming injured. Let's look at the individual fall protection equipment:
Stop Falls. Stand-Down.