Construction and industrial workers are subject to safety risks you simply won’t find in an office job. According to the Occupational Health & Safety Administration, 291 of 828 construction-related deaths in 2013 were caused by falls from elevation. Because these deaths were all preventable, OHSA started the annual National Safety Stand-Down To Prevent Falls in Construction in 2014. This year, it was celebrated throughout the U.S. from May 4-15.
What is the Safety Stand-down?
This countrywide initiative is an opportunity for workers across all spectrums of the construction industry to have an open conversation about how to eliminate the occurrence of accidental falls. This year’s participants were a range of construction-related entities, including major commercial construction organizations, the U.S. Military and general industry employers. The Stand-down is a voluntary event conducted by employers or managers where they discuss the importance of fall prevention with their staff.
According to OHSA, successful Stand-downs involve employers engaging every facet of their operations, from architects and engineers to subcontractors, as this safety hazard is a major issue that is pertinent to anyone who may find themselves at construction sites. Managers should discuss all types of falls, including those from ladders, roofs, scaffolding, stairs, structural steel and through floors and other fragile surfaces. By reviewing current policies, doing educational activities and having open discussions with workers, OHSA explained that industry leaders will be able to make necessary safety adjustments.
Successful Stand-down for 2015
Following the success of 2014’s event, this year’s National Safety Stand-down was equally as helpful in construction fall awareness. According to Occupational Health & Safety magazine, millions of construction professionals across the country participate in the two-week safety initiative. The source noted that the Stand-down became international this year, with multiple countries holding fall safety awareness events.
Some of the global events included presentations by the San Juan Construction company, currently working on a U.S. Naval facility on an island in the Indian Ocean. Some of the exercises these workers participated in were activities focusing on ladder safety, head safety and general fall protection, explained OHS magazine. Over 1,000 workers in Hindon, India also assembled to learn about safety issues. This team is working at a Boeing site where they’re constructing U.S. facilities. Additionally, Canada’s government used OHSA’s guidelines to promote fall safety information through its social media outlets.