No worker needs to die from a fall. Yet falls from elevation tragically are the leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for about a third of all construction fatalities in recent years.
The National Safety Stand Down to Prevent Falls in Construction hopes to bring needed attention to this problem during the week of September 14-18. This is the seventh year the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has focused on fall prevention with its national initiative.
“The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) joins with OSHA in emphasizing the importance of fall prevention for all workers and especially those engaged in the construction trades,” said IDOL Director Michael Kleinik. “Falls from elevation, while preventable through safety measures and training, remain a persistent cause in far too many workplace injuries and deaths.”
Fatalities caused by falls from elevation accounted for 320 of the 1,008 fatalities recorded in 2018, the most recent statistics available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national “Stand Down” campaign encourages employers to offer training breaks during the week of September 14-18 for their workers to focus on safety concerns surrounding falls.
Many resources to assist employers are available on OSHA’s Fall Prevention Stand-Down website at www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown. The website offers various videos, publications and OSHA’s Fall Prevention Training Guide. The guide provides a step-by-step guidance and lessons plans for employers to put on 15-minute “toolbox talks” on fall prevention. The lessons cover ladder safety, scaffolding safety and roofing work safety.
The National Safety Stand Down to Prevent Falls in Construction week kicked off at noon on Monday, September 14 with a webinar featuring leaders from OSHA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Center for Construction Resource and Training. The speakers will share some of the latest data trends and new fall prevention resources to use during the Stand-Down week and beyond. You can register for the webinar at https://cdc.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_F6cFqLFdS0SeAZNUe1ooYA
OSHA invites employers to share feedback as well as information and photos from their Stand Down events. Comments and contributions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. At the conclusion of the week, employers will be able to go to the website www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown to obtain a certificate of participation.