After last year’s event was a resounding success, OSHA is hosting another “Construction Fall Safety Stand-Down” in 2015 from May 4th through May 15th. Tens of thousands of employers and more than 1 million workers across the U.S. participated in the 2014 safety event. OSHA has extended this year’s awareness and prevention campaign to a full two weeks in hopes of tripling participation.
Facts about Falls
- Slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of lost days from work.
- 20% of slip and fall accidents result in an injury requiring more than a month away from work.
- 5% of workers injured in a fall suffer a fracture.
- In 2013 alone, 699 workers died in slip, trip, or fall accidents on the job. 64 of these fatalities occurred in California.
- About 8 out of 10 fatal injuries occur in falls from upper to lower levels.
What’s Involved in a Stand-Down?
Any employer can host a Stand-Down event at their workplace. It can be as simple as taking a break during the workday to have an extra safety tailgate meeting on the topic. Potential ideas for a talk or demonstration include: safety equipment inspections, rescue plans, or job-specific hazards. Free resources and safety videos are available on OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down 2015 website. According to OSHA, “Employers will be able to provide feedback about their Stand-Down and download a Certificate of Participation signed by Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez following the Stand-Down.”
Employers can also participate by having workers attend one of the many events that are open to the public. In California, free events are available in Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Clemente, San Diego, and other cities.
Why Stand Down?
In the construction industry, lack of proper fall protection is the most commonly cited safety violation and falls are the second leading cause of death. Of course, it’s not just the construction industry that poses fall hazards. The wastewater industry also has employees who work at elevated heights or near excavations or manholes. Analyzing hazards, putting controls in place, and using appropriate fall protection is critical for worker safety.
Any time of the year is a good time to review your fall safety program. For assistance, contact DKF Solutions—your trusted OSHA compliance partner.