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Are you ready for the National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction?

Photo: Morgan Zavertnik and Hoar Construction/elcosh

Washington — The 10th annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction is fast approaching, and employers nationwide are being encouraged to host an event.

Set to take place May 1-5, the stand-down was created by NIOSH, OSHA, and CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training. It’s intended to help prevent fall-related deaths and injuries by raising awareness of hazards. Falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death in the industry, accounting for 351 of the 1,008 construction fatalities recorded in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In a press release, OSHA administrator Doug Parker says that although the event’s message has remained similar over the past decade, it “bears repeating again and again.”

He continues: “Workers should never have to risk their lives to make a living. The stand-down is an opportunity for employers to prove their commitment to their workers and provide the leadership, tools and training to prevent falls.”

NIOSH encourages workplace participation in the stand-down through toolbox talks and safety activities such as developing drills, practices and rescue plans; conducting equipment inspections; and discussing job-specific hazards.

CPWR is offering multiple resources for employers as part of its One Stop Stand-Down Shop, including a public service announcement that can be shared, ideas for stand-down events to be hosted and hazard alert cards that can be handed out to workers.

On its website, OSHA features highlights of past events from around the country. Last year, about 3,500 stand-downs conducted worldwide reached more than 455,000 workers. Fifty-four percent of attendees indicated they had participated in at least three events during their careers.

“The stand-downs are an important opportunity to further occupational health equity and emphasize worker safety at all times,” NIOSH Director John Howard said in the release. “Stopping to take time in the workday to recognize existing fall safety hazards and offering demonstrations or trainings can contribute to a positive work culture and a safer working environment for all.”

Employers can share their stand-down stories by emailing [email protected] or using the hashtag #StandDown4Safety on social media.

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