After adding more than 50,000 jobs in January alone, the construction industry shows no signs of slowing down. As more people join the workforce, our commitment to worker safety is even more important. Although falls from heights decreased from 2016 to 2017 according to BLS data, falls are still the leading cause of death in the construction industry – they can and should be prevented.
Addressing falls in construction is the reason why each year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) holds a National Safety Stand-Down to prevent Falls in the Construction industry. OSHA encourages employers to take a break to focus on safety concerns surrounding falls from elevation. Stand-down events provide employers and workers the opportunity to talk about hazards, protective methods, and the company’s safety and health programs, goals, and expectations.
Last year, thousands of worksites participated in the campaign and the Stand-Down event reached over a million workers. OSHA invites employers to dedicate themselves yet again to the safety of their most valuable resource: their workers.
OSHA’s Stand-Down webpage offers information on conducting a successful event, and educational resources. Employers are encouraged to provide feedback after their events, and to obtain a personalized certificate of participation.
The National Safety Stand-Down is a joint effort between OSHA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.
Do you already have an event planned? We want to hear about it!
Send your event photos to Byron Lee, firstname.lastname@example.org, to be posted on the GBCA Stand-Down Facebook album!
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”. 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.
Who Can Participate?
Anyone who wants to prevent hazards 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 and FAQ’s
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. See Suggestions to Prepare for a Successful “Stand-Down” and Highlights from the Past Stand-Downs. 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.
Certificate of Participation
Employers will be able to provide feedback about their Stand-Down and download a Certificate of Participation following the Stand-Down.
Share Your Story With GBCA and OSHA
Share your Stand-Down story on social media, with the hashtag: #StandDown4Safety and #GBCASafety
More additional resources and information in preparation for the 2019 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls:
Informational Webinar: For those of you who were unable to listen in on the 3/20/19 webinar, The National Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction: Getting Ready for the 2019 Safety Stand-Down Fall Stand-Down, the recording is available here (run time: 51:22); the slides may also be downloaded here.
- Resources from CPWR- The Center for Construction Research and Training:
- Five-Day Stand-Down Plan: Includes suggested activities for commemorating the Stand-Down.
- Customizable Fall Protection Plan: Helps facilitate the development of a worksite fall protection plan.
- Social Media Guide: Includes sample posts and shareable graphics. (Don’t forget to use the Stand-Down hashtags: #StandDown4Safety #StopFalls #Construction)
- CPWR and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) infographics are available here. Please note two recent additions: Have a Rescue Plan to Prevent Suspension Trauma and The Right Length Lanyard will Protect Workers in a Fall
- NIOSH Videos: 9 videos are available in a playlist here. Please note these new additions:
- NIOSH Fact Sheet: Prevent Construction Falls from Roofs, Ladders, and Scaffolds
- NIOSH Aerial Lift Hazard Recognition Simulator (updated to include both boom lift and scissor lift scenarios)