OSHA prepares for fall prevention week

OSHA prepares for fall prevention week

OSHA has online resources for its annual National Fall Prevention Safety Stand-Down May 6-10.

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is joining with occupational safety organizations for the sixth annual National Fall Prevention Safety Stand-Down May 6-10. The week-long event will focus attention on preventing falls in construction, which OSHA says is the leading cause of fatalities in the industry. 

The national stand-down encourages employers and workers to pause voluntarily during the workday for safety demonstrations, training in hazard recognition and fall prevention, and talks about hazards, protective methods and the company’s safety policies, goals and expectations.

“Falls can be prevented when employers train and educate workers about these hazards properly and provide appropriate protection,” says Loren Sweatt, the acting assistant secretary of labor for Occupational Safety and Health. “This should be a priority during the first week of May and must be a priority every day. OSHA has tools readily available for employers and workers to address the prevention of fall hazards.”

OSHA anticipates thousands of work sites and millions of workers to observe the stand down worldwide in 2019. To help guide their efforts, the agency’s fall prevention webpage provides information on how to conduct a successful event and educational resources in English and Spanish, including:

  • series of fall safety videos that demonstrate how to prevent fall hazards from floor openings, skylights, fixed scaffolds, bridge decking, reroofing and leading edge work.
  • OSHA’s Fall Prevention Training Guide that provides a lesson plan for employers, including several Toolbox Talks.
  • Fact sheets on ladders and scaffolding that describe the safe use of these types of equipment while performing construction activities.
  • A brief video, 5 Ways to Prevent Workplace Falls, encourages employers to develop a fall prevention plan and provide workers with fall protection and training.

Employers are encouraged to provide feedback after their events and to obtain a personalized certificate of participation.

The national safety stand-down is part of OSHA’s fall prevention campaign and was developed in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, National Occupational Research Agenda and The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR). To learn more about preventing falls in construction, visit OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign page.