Thousands of worksites will join OSHA and its partners this week for the annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, with events across the country. Employers and workers will pause during the workday to talk about fall hazards, OSHA compliance, and industry best practices to prevent falls in all workplaces. The lack of proper fall protection is the most frequently cited OSHA violation.
Deputy Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella will attend a national kick-off event today in Washington, D.C., at the newly constructed DC United soccer stadium, where experts will demonstrate proper fall arrest systems. For a list of other events, and educational resources in English and Spanish, visit the Stand-Down webpage.
Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 370 of the 991 construction fatalities recorded in 2016 (BLS data). Those deaths were preventable. The National Safety Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries.
The 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." Employers of companies not exposed to fall hazards, can also use this opportunity to have a conversation with employees about the other job hazards they face, protective methods, and the company's safety policies and goals. It can also be an opportunity for employees to talk to management about fall and other job hazards they see.