The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will hold its annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls beginning today. The lack of proper fall protection is the most frequently cited OSHA violation. Stand-downs provide employers and workers the opportunity to talk about hazards, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies, goals, and expectations, OSHA said in a release.
The event, running May 7–11, encourages companies and workers to pause during the workday for topical discussions, safety demonstrations and training in hazard recognition and fall prevention. Deputy Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella will attend a national kick-off event today at the newly constructed DC United Audi Field Stadium, where experts will talk about the importance of fall prevention, demonstrate proper fall arrest systems, and encourage workers to participate in training.
To guide nationwide and international efforts, the agency’s Stand-Down webpage offers information on conducting a successful event, and educational resources in English and Spanish. Employers are encouraged to provide feedback after their events, and to obtain a personalized certificate of participation.
Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 370 of the 991 construction fatalities recorded in 2016 (BLS data).