Chances are, if you’re in the construction, access or related industries you’re familiar with a safety stand-down.
These voluntary events are a chance for employers to talk to their employees about safety aspects of their job-site, particularly fall hazards and fall prevention. It can also serve as a forum for employees to voice safety concerns and potential fall hazards they’ve noticed around the workplace. A safety stand-down is an informative activity to reinforce safe practices.
National Safety Stand-Down Week
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other federal safety agencies have designated the first week in May 2018 as their fifth annual National Safety Stand-Down. The event is a nationwide effort encouraging safety stand-downs to remind and educate employers and workers across the construction industry of the serious dangers associated with falls, many of which are preventable. According to the United States Department of Labor in 2016, falls from height are the leading cause of work deaths in the construction industry.
According to the United States Department of Labor in 2016, falls from height are the leading cause of work deaths in the construction industry.
Throughout the week, construction employers are encouraged to voluntarily pause during their workday to discuss topics or provide demonstrations and training on how to recognize job site hazards and to review their safety policies and goals. Participants in previous years include 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.
Equipment manufacturers also may choose to participate in National Safety Stand-Down Week. For example, JLG will be leading a number of discussions at customer locations across the country to discuss how low-level access products, ladder and scaffolding alternatives that deliver a maximum work height/reach of 20' or less, can help companies minimize the risks associated with falls from height. In addition to discussing ladder and scaffolding alternatives, JLG will review the importance of personal fall protection equipment (PFPE).
Construction companies who participate in stand down week events and register through the OSHA website will receive a personalized certificate of participation.
OSHA offers several resources like quizzes, videos, posters, handouts and more to help you prepare for a successful stand-down. And don’t forget, even if your organization hasn’t planned to hold a safety stand-down this week as part of the national event it’s never too late. You can host an event anytime throughout the year.