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Published April 19, 2024

Raising Awareness to Prevent Falls: National Safety Stand-Down Event

construction worker holding a hard hat in their left hand

In an ongoing effort to enhance safety and prevent falls within the construction industry, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has dedicated a week to the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction. Scheduled from May 6 – 10, 2024, this initiative underscores the critical importance of fall prevention, aiming to reduce fatalities and injuries that result from falls, a leading cause of death for construction employees.

Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to rank as a significant concern within the construction sector. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data for 2022, falls from elevation were responsible for 395 of the 1,069 construction fatalities recorded (37%). OSHA emphasizes that these deaths were preventable, which forms the heart of the Stand-Down’s message and purpose.

What is a Safety Stand-Down?

A Safety Stand-Down is a unique, voluntary event that enables employers to engage directly with their employees about safety. It presents an invaluable opportunity for workplaces to pause operations and dedicate time to discuss fall hazards, implement fall prevention strategies, and explore protective methods. The goal is to heighten awareness across the country, motivating action towards curbing fall-related fatalities and injuries.

Who Can Participate?

The Stand-Down is not limited to the construction industry alone. OSHA encourages participation from a wide audience, including but not limited to:

  • Commercial and residential construction companies
  • Sub-contractors and independent contractors
  • Highway construction companies
  • General industry employers
  • Unions
  • Employer’s trade associations
  • Safety equipment manufacturers
  • The U.S military
  • Government participants, and more

This inclusive approach helps broaden the impact of the initiative, covering as much ground as possible to prevent workplace hazards.

Partnerships and Support

Recognizing the magnitude of the mission, OSHA has partnered with influential organizations such as:

  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
  • Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR)
  • American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP)
  • National Safety Council
  • National Construction Safety Executives (NCSE)
  • U.S. Air Force
  • and the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers, among others.

These collaborations aim to amplify the event’s reach and efficacy in reducing fall-related incidents.

How to Participate in the Stand-Down

Companies are encouraged to participate by organizing a break to conduct safety talks, safety equipment inspections, develop rescue plans or discuss specific job hazards. OSHA also provides resources such as suggestions for conducting a successful Stand-Down, and companies can even register events that are free and open to the public. You can also view highlights from past Stand-Downs on the OSHA website.

Certificates of Participation and Sharing Your Story

In recognition of their commitment to safety, participating employers can provide feedback about their Stand-Down experience and download a Certificate of Participation. OSHA also invites companies to share their Stand-Down stories on social media using the hashtag #StandDown4Safety, creating a shared space for encouragement and inspiration.

The National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction signifies a pivotal movement toward making the workplace safer for everyone involved. By uniting forces across industries and emphasizing the importance of preventive measures, we can aspire to a future where fall-related fatalities and injuries are significantly reduced, if not entirely eradicated.

For more information about how to participate, host an event, or to explore available resources, please visit OSHA’s official Stand-Down page.