Today's News / Safety in the Construction Industry

Southeast construction workers on a safety stand-down today

Focus is on fall prevention

wind energyOSHA, along with trade associations and employers throughout Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, are conducting a one-hour safety stand-down at construction sites and workplaces today from 7 to 8 a.m. The stand-down supports OSHA's nationwide outreach campaign to raise awareness among employers and workers about the hazards of falls. Workers will voluntarily stop work for an hour to receive safety training focused on the prevention of falls in the workplace.

In 2010, there were 264 fall fatalities out of 774 total fatalities in construction nationwide. When working from heights, such as ladders, scaffolds and roofs, employers must plan projects to ensure that the job is done safely. To protect workers, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds and safety gear. Workers need training to understand the proper setup and safe use of specific equipment they will use to complete the job. Falls can be prevented and lives can be saved through three simple steps: plan, provide and train.

"This stand-down is intended to raise awareness among employers and workers about common fall hazards in all industries, focusing on how falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs can be prevented and lives can be saved," said Teresa Harrison, OSHA's acting regional administrator for the Southeast. "It is the employer's responsibility to protect workers from injury and illness."

OSHA has developed fall prevention educational materials in English and Spanish, as well as information to be used for workplace training. Additionally, OSHA invites the public to join in the effort by helping to reach workers and employers in local communities with the resources on fall prevention, developed by OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and National Occupational Research Agenda. These resources are available at www.osha.gov/stopfalls/index.html#plan.

To learn more about OSHA's fall prevention campaign, or to obtain copies of fall prevention-related publications, should contact their local OSHA office. To locate an OSHA office, visit www.osha.gov/html/RAmap.html.

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