Going Beyond National Safety Stand-Down Week

Going Beyond National Safety Stand-Down Week

Falls have consistently ranked as the leading cause of work fatality in the construction industry, specifically falls from elevation. In 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (B.L.S.) reported that out of 1,008 construction fatalities reported, 351 of them (nearly 35% of all fatalities) involved workers falling from elevated heights.

Sadly, most fatal falls on construction sites are preventable with proper training and the implementation of safety measures and protective equipment. To help spread awareness of the importance of fall protection on worksites, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (O.S.H.A.) began the National Safety Stand-Down to get more workplaces involved in the day-to-day safety of the worksite.

From May 2 to May 6, workplaces across the country are encouraged to host safety events, toolbox talks, and rally community support aimed at decreasing fall fatalities in the construction industry. However, falls occur all year round, and continuing to organize frequent stand-downs in your workplace can significantly reduce fall fatalities in the future.

How to Host a Safety Stand-Down

O.S.H.A. defines a safety stand-down as a voluntary event that employers can host to talk directly to their workers about safety on the job. These meetings can focus on overall trends of fall injuries related to the construction industry and specific hazards affecting certain roles. Here are a few ways to make your stand-down strike a chord with your workers.

Show Genuine Regard for Workers’ Saftey

The primary goal of a safety stand-down is to be personable and connect with your workers on a deeper level. Workers who feel their employers and managers genuinely value their safety are more likely to prioritize safety on the job.

Make Your Stand Down Unique

Stand-downs can take place in a breakroom, at the toolbox, outdoors, or in any natural gathering place for the company. They can be as simple as a heart-to-heart talk once a month to chat about safety or a more significant event inviting the community to celebrate the workplace and their choice to keep workers safe. However you choose to host a stand-down, the event needs to be unique to the workplace and meet the workers where they are for the most effective results.

Employee Certificates for Participation

Employers can encourage participation in safety stand-downs by issuing certificates to employees who show exceptional safety behaviors. O.S.H.A provides employers a downloadable Certificate of Participation here that can be used as a starting point.

Get Employees Active Outside of Work

Protecting construction workers from fall injuries does not have to stay within the workplace. Encourage your employees to become involved in their personal life to help protect all American construction workers from preventable harm. Share your stories on social media using #StandDown4Safety or send an email to oshastandown@dol.gov to share your experiences.

Host Safety Stand-Downs Often

National Safety Stand-Down Week gears to spread awareness, but it by no means encourages workplaces to focus on safety for only one week each year. This safety campaign can be a perfect jumping-off point for employers to figure out what safety meetings their workplace requires, how frequent, and the best method to conduct them to encourage safe work practices every day. Safety should be an ongoing priority at every construction site and a constant conversation between workers and employers throughout the year.

Pazer, Epstein, Jaffe & Fein NYC Construction Accident Attorneys

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