Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 350 of the 937 construction fatalities recorded in 2015 (BLS data). Those deaths were preventable. The National Fall Prevention Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries. This year the Stand-Down is May 8-12.
What is a safety stand-down?
A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Any workplace can hold a stand-down by taking a break to focus on "Fall Hazards" and reinforcing the importance of "Fall Prevention". It's an opportunity for employers to have a conversation with employees about hazards, protective methods, and the company's safety policies and goals. It can also be an opportunity for employees to talk to management about fall hazards they see.
Who can participate?
Anyone who wants to prevent falls in the workplace can participate in the Stand-Down. In past years, participants included 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.
OSHA is partnering with key groups to assist with this effort, including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), OSHA approved State Plans, State consultation programs, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the National Safety Council, the National Construction Safety Executives (NCSE), the U.S. Air Force, and the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers.
How to conduct a safety stand-down
Companies can conduct a Safety Stand-Down by taking a break to have a toolbox talk or another safety activity such as conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job specific hazards. Managers are encouraged to plan a stand-down that works best for their workplace anytime during the May 8-12, 2017. See Suggestions to Prepare for a Successful "Stand-Down" and Highlights from the Past Stand-Downs on OSHA’s website. OSHA also hosts an Events page with events that are free and open to the public to help employers and employees find events in your area.
Share your story with OSHA
If you want to share information with OSHA on your Safety Stand-Down, Fall Prevention Programs or suggestions on how OSHA can improve future initiatives like this, please send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also share your Stand-Down story on social media, with the hashtag: #StandDown4Safety.
If you plan to host a free event that is open to the public, see OSHA's Events page for more information and to contact your Regional Stand-Down Coordinator.