What is a Safety Stand-Down?
A Safety Stand-Down is an event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. In 2015 OSHA is focusing on "Fall Hazards" and to reinforce the importance of "Fall Prevention."
When is the Fall Prevention Safety Stand-Down?
The OSHA Safety Stand-Down will be two weeks, from May 4-15, 2015, to coincide with the North American Occupational Safety and Health Week.
How do I 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. A Safety Stand-Down should provide an opportunity for employers and workers to talk about hazards, protective methods, and the company's safety policies, goals and expectations.
I'm not a construction company; can I still participate in the Safety Stand-Down?
Participation is not limited to the construction industry. In fact, the largest single participant was the United States Air Force, reaching approximately 650,000 service men and women.
I'm not located in the United States; can I still participate in the Safety Stand-Down?
Yes. Several domestic and international companies working outside of the United States participated in the 2014 Stand-Down and there is great anticipation to have more international participation this year.
I'm a small company with just a few employees; can I still participate in the Stand-Down?
Yes. Any number of people can hold a Stand-Down. Companies and businesses of all sizes should take time out during the workday to discuss fall prevention with their workers, and participate in the Stand-Down.
How long does a typical fall prevention Stand-Down take to conduct?
It's up to you. A Stand-Down could be as simple as a 15 minute toolbox talk or several hours of training over a week
Suggestions to prepare for a successful stand-down
Try to start early. Designate a coordinator to organize the stand-down. If you have multiple work sites, identify the team that will lead the stand-down at each site.
Think about asking your subcontractors, owner, architects, engineers, or others associated with your project to participate in the stand-down.
Consider reviewing your fall prevention program. This will help provide a more effective stand-down.
- What types of falls could happen:
- Falls from ladders
- Falls from a roof
- Falls from a scaffold
- Falls down stairs
- Falls from a structural steel
- Falls through a floor or roof opening
- Falls through a fragile roof surface
What needs improvement? Is your program meeting its goals? Are you experiencing fatalities, injuries, or near misses? Are employees aware of the company's fall protection procedures?
What training have you provided to your workers? Does it need revision?
What equipment have you provided to your workers? Is better equipment available?
Develop presentations or activities that will meet your needs.Decide what information will be best for your workplace and workers. The meeting should provide information to workers about hazards, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies, goals and expectations. Hands-on exercises (a worksite walk around, equipment checks, etc.) can increase retention.
Decide when to hold the stand-down and how long it will last. Decide if the stand-down will take place over a break, a lunch period, or some other time.
Promote the stand-down. Try to make it interesting to workers. Some employers find that serving snacks increases participation
Hold your stand-down. Try to make it positive and interactive. Let workers talk about their experiences and encourage them to make suggestions.
Follow up. If you learned something that could improve your fall prevention program, consider making change