Construction Industry Welcomes the 2015 National Fall Prevention Stand-Down
In honor of the ascending spring, Rigid Lifelines is looking forward to upcoming events in the world of fall protection. This spring encourage your employer to participate in OSHA’s 2015 National Fall Prevention Stand-Down To Prevent Falls in Construction on May 4-15. This year OSHA hopes to reach more than 3 million workers, which is essentially four out of ten construction workers in the US. If OSHA does reach 3 million workers, they would triple the number of workers reached last year during this event.
Last year OSHA issued more fall protection violations in construction than in any other category. Almost 35 percent of construction fatalities recorded in 2012 were caused by falls from elevation. These facts are why OSHA hopes to reach so many construction workers this year; in fact, they have devoted an entire webpage to the event.
OSHA defines a stand-down as “a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety.” A stand-down can be a short meeting. For example, a supervisor can talk to his crew during a water break. No matter when, where, or how you conduct your stand-down, make sure to be prepared. OSHA has provided helpful resources to use during your stand-down. They have everything from posters to a fall prevention training guide.
Below are OSHA’s suggestions 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 scaffol
- 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?
- What types of falls could happen:
- 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 walkaround, 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 experiences and encourage them to make suggestions.
- Follow up. If you learned something that could improve your fall prevention program, consider making changes.
The participating companies after this event can get Certificates of Participation signed by the Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez. Make sure to visit the 2015 National Fall Prevention Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction webpage for more information.
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