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April 21, 2015

OSHA Offers Resources for 2015 National Safety Stand-Down in May

CAUTION Fall protection required
OSHA invites employers to participate in the 2015 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction from May 4-15. The  Stand-Down will raise awareness of preventing fall hazards in construction, and OSHA has a variety of materials available to support the effort.

What is a Safety Stand-Down?

A Safety Stand-Down is an opportunity for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. This Stand-Down focuses on fall hazards and reinforcing the importance of fall prevention. It should provide an opportunity for employers and workers to talk about hazards, protective methods and the company's safety policies, goals and expectations.

Anyone who wants to prevent falls in the workplace can participate in the Stand-Down. Last year, participants included commercial and residential construction companies of all sizes, contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, the U.S. Military, unions, trade associations, institutes, worker interest organizations and safety equipment manufacturers.

How to Conduct a Safety Stand-Down

Companies and businesses of any size can participate by simply taking time out during the workday to discuss fall prevention with their workers. A Stand-Down can be as simple as a 15 minute toolbox talk, a break for safety equipment inspections or some other safety activity, or as thorough as several hours of safety training throughout the week.

Hands-on exercises (a worksite walkaround, equipment checks, etc.) can increase retention of the information. Make the event positive and interactive. Let workers talk about their experiences and encourage them to make suggestions. Some employers find that serving snacks increases participation. Be sure to follow up after your event. If you learn something that could improve your fall prevention program, consider making changes.

Why the Stand-Down is Important

Falls are the leading cause of death for construction workers, accounting for 279 of the 806 construction fatalities recorded in 2012. Thousands more suffer debilitating injuries every year. Fall prevention safety standards were among the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards during fiscal year 2014.

The Stand-Down website gives complete information on how to conduct a Stand-Down, receive a certificate of participation and access free education and training resources, fact sheets and other outreach materials in English and Spanish. It also includes a list of stand-down events that are free and open to the public.

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