OSHA’s 7th annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls will be taking place during the week of September 14th – 18th, 2020. This is a voluntary event meant to raise fall hazard awareness across the country to stop fall fatalities and injuries.
OSHA encourages all employers where fall hazards might exist to take part, despite the fact its geared toward the construction industry.
OSHA is partnering with key groups to assist with this effort. These include the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), and the National Safety Council (NSC).
How can your organization take part?
Companies can conduct a Safety Stand-Down by using one of OSHA’s free Tool Box Talks on a topic related to fall safety. They can also conduct safety equipment inspections, develop rescue plans, or discuss job-specific hazards.
OSHA has posted these suggestions to prepare for a successful Safety Stand-Down:
- Review your fall prevention program and consider what types of falls can happen (e.g., from ladders, a roof, a scaffold, or downstairs). Is your program meeting its goals? Are you experiencing fatalities, injuries, or near misses? Are employees aware of the company’s fall protection procedures? Where can you improve?
- Develop presentations or activities that will meet your companies needs. Provide information to employees about fall hazards, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies, goals, as well as expectations. Encourage hands-on exercises (e.g., a worksite walkthrough, equipment checks).
- Make it positive and interactive. Let employees talk about their experiences and encourage them to make suggestions. If you learn something that could improve your fall prevention program, make changes!
In our blog from August 14th, we shared an excerpt on the importance of fall protection from our Incidents, Accidents, and Near Misses in Lab Research, Vol. 5. In it, we share that violations related to fall protection have been #1 on OSHA’s top 10 most cited violations list for 9 consecutive years. Another helpful resource is this list from Safety and Health Magazine, which covers how to recognize hidden dangers and 25 steps to take for a safer office.
Take this opportunity to raise awareness about fall safety at your organization!
For more information on OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls, or for help with developing a fall prevention program at your workplace, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.