Over one-third of construction fatalities occurred due to falls from elevation in 2016. Every worker in America should return home from work safe and sound at the end of the day.
Falls are preventable.
That’s why the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) holds an annual “National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls” each May. Across the nation and around the world, employers and employees voluntarily stop working to focus on safety concerns surrounding falls from elevation, which in construction is a height of six feet or higher.
This effort provides an opportunity to raise awareness of this serious danger, and a platform for employers and employees to discuss specific safety measures that can mitigate the risk of falls. Stand-down activities may include a discussion of job hazards, an assessment of potential risks, and the development of safety policies and goals.
This year, OSHA kicked off National Safety Stand-Down Week at the newly-constructed D.C. United Audi Field stadium in Washington, D.C. Department of Labor Deputy Secretary Patrick Pizzella and I joined safety experts and over 650 construction workers to discuss the importance of fall prevention, and encourage workers to participate in safety training.
Preventing falls is everyone’s responsibility. This stand-down campaign is a great reminder that we must be vigilant.
To share your story with OSHA on your Safety Stand-Down, Fall Prevention Programs, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Loren Sweatt is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health.