May 2-6 is the week that employers across the nation will be participating in the Annual National Safety Stand-Down to raise fall hazard awareness in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries.
Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees and a serious concern for all industries that have employees working at elevated levels, on ladders or on scaffolding. All deaths caused by falls from any height are preventable and the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls scheduled for May 2-6 this year aims to bring fall hazard awareness to companies and employees across the nation in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries.
A Safety Stand-Down doesn’t mean that work stops for the whole week and everyone has to do some fall prevention training. Work doesn’t stop, production doesn’t suffer and employees don’t get paid for doing nothing…that’s not the intention of a Stand-Down.
A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Any workplace can hold a stand-down by taking a break to focus on "Fall Hazards" and reinforcing the importance of "Fall Prevention". It's an opportunity for employers to have a conversation with employees about hazards, protective methods, and the company's safety policies and goals. It can also be an opportunity for employees to talk to management about fall hazards they see.
OSHA is partnering with key groups to promote and bring awareness to the Fall Prevention Safety Stand-Down including:
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA)
- OSHA approved State Plans
- State consultation programs
- Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR)
- American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP)
- National Safety Council
- National Construction Safety Executives (NCSE)
- U.S. Air Force
- OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers
Anyone who wants to prevent falls in the workplace can participate in the Stand-Down. Despite the name, participation is NOT limited only to construction companies. In past years, participants included commercial construction companies of all sizes, residential construction contractors, sub- and independent contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, the U.S. Military, other government participants, unions, employer's trade associations, institutes, employee interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers.
If your organization has employees, volunteers, team members, students or contractors that work at elevated heights, that use ladders or that may work on scaffolding, please consider participating in the Safety Stand-Down this year.
The way that you participate and the amount of time your organization dedicates to the Stand-Down is entirely up to you. Managers are encouraged to plan a Stand-Down that works best for their workplace anytime during the week.
- Companies can conduct a Safety Stand-Down by taking a break to have a toolbox talk about fall hazards with a discussion on how to prevent falls that are common in your industry.
- Organizations can send out daily email reminders throughout the week with tips about fall prevention.
- Supervisors can lead team safety activities such as conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans or discussing job specific hazards.
- Visit OSHA’s Stop Falls Stand Down website to find events in your area that your organization may want to participate in as part of the Stand Down effort.
OSHA provides many resources organizations can use on their Stand-Down website at osha.gov/stop-falls-stand-down. There you can find posters, videos, outreach training materials, fact sheets, infographics, a fall prevention training guide, and so much more.
Don’t forget to use the hashtag #StandDown4Safety to share your Stand-Down activities on social media. Organizations that participate in Safety activities, like this Stand-Down, should be proud to share their efforts and it helps cultivate a spirit of community when others see that Workplace Safety is important to so many companies and organizations across the nation.
Employers will also be able to provide feedback about their Stand-Down and download a Certificate of Participation following the Stand-Down.
Weeklysafety.com gives you and your company access to hundreds of safety meeting topics and toolbox talks, safety resources you won't find anywhere else, safety topics professionally translated into Spanish, and so much more. This includes several safety meeting topics on Fall Protection in both English & Spanish. Several versions are made available including 6-page Manager’s Presentations, 2-page Foreman’s Topics and 1-page Fast Toolbox Talks.