National Safety Stand-down to Prevent Falls in Construction

Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls account for more than 30% of fatalities in the construction industry. Those deaths are preventable. The National Safety Stand-down to Prevent Falls in Construction raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries.

As an employer, you have a duty to protect your workers from falls, and we’re here to help. We have developed this toolkit to arm you with the information and resources you need to conduct a successful safety stand-down. In this toolkit you will find information about the National Safety Stand-down, toolbox talks to help prevent falls, a Construction Industry Fall Protection Safety Program, posters to help bring awareness to the stand-down and much more.

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National Safety Stand-down to Prevent Falls in Construction

What is a Safety Stand-down?

A safety stand-down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. The National Safety Stand-down to Prevent Falls in Construction focuses on fall hazards and reinforcing the importance of fall prevention.

When is the National Safety Stand-down to Prevent Falls in Construction?

The stand-down will be held over one week, from Sept. 14-18, 2020. It will be held in conjunction with the North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Safety Week.

How do Businesses Conduct a Safety Stand-down?

Companies can conduct a safety stand-down by taking a break to have a toolbox talk or another safety activity such as conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans or discussing job-specific hazards. A safety stand-down should provide an opportunity for employers and employees to talk about hazards, protective methods and the company’s safety policies, goals and expectations.

Who can Participate in a Safety Stand-down?

Anyone interested in educating employees in fall hazards, or other job hazards, can participate. In past years, participants included general contractors; sub-and independent contractors; employers’ trade associations; federal, state and local governmental agencies; professional societies and institutes; and consumer/labor-management interest organizations. Millions of employees across all 50 states and internationally have participated in previous stand-downs.

How does a Business Participate, and How do They Get a Certificate of Participation?

Participation is easy. Hold a stand-down and visit the OSHA National Safety Stand-down website to download a certificate. Employers will be able to provide feedback and download certificates of participation based on their experience. The certificate pages will be active on Sept. 14 at OSHA’s Stop Falls Stand-down and on the National Safety Council’s (NSC) webpages.

National Safety Stand-down to Prevent Falls in Construction

Our business received a certificate of participation for past stand-downs, why should we get another one?

One of the most important reasons you should participate through gaining a certificate is to demonstrate your commitment to fall prevention and other safety issues on the job site to your employees. Employees and other employers alike recognize the importance of demonstrated top-level commitment to promoting a positive safety culture. There are platinum, gold, silver and bronze certificates, depending on how many years you have participated. OSHA and our partners also use the attendance data and feedback from the certificate form submission to enhance and further improve this event for the future.

We are not a construction company; can we still participate in the Safety Stand-down?

Yes, you can. Participation is not limited to the construction industry, and no business is too small to participate. In previous years, many non-construction employers held stand-downs. In fact, the largest single participant in 2015 and 2016 was the United States Air Force, reaching more than 1 million military and civilian personnel. The smallest company to receive a certificate had only one employee, and nearly half of certificates for participation completed through OSHA’s website were for stand-downs with less than 25 employees.

We are a small company with just a few employees; can we still participate in the Safety Stand-down?

Yes. Any number of people can hold a stand-down. Companies and businesses of all sizes should take time out during the workday to discuss fall prevention with their employees, and participate in the stand-down. You can also find a larger stand-down event in your area.

How can we get an OSHA Representative to participate in our Stand-down?

Contact your regional stand-down coordinator to talk to someone about your stand-down event.

We would like to participate in a Safety Stand-down Event, is there a list we can use to find an event?

A list of events in your area can be found by visiting OSHA’s National Safety Stand-down website. These events are free and open to the public. Attendees of these events must cooperate with the host employers’ site access and safety rules.

National Safety Stand-down to Prevent Falls in Construction

How can we get our safety stand-down event listed on the OSHA website?

OSHA lists events that are free and open to the public. This webpage helps employers and employees find stand-down events that they can attend in their area. Contact your regional stand-down coordinator to learn more.

Do we need to preregister for the stand-down?

No. The stand-down is free, and you do not have to register to participate. Simply hold a stand-down with your employees during the week of the National Safety Stand-down to Prevent Falls in Construction, then go online to tell us about your stand-down and download a certificate of participation at OSHA’s Stop Falls Stand-down or National Safety Council’s (NSC) webpage after your stand-down event.

How long does a typical fall prevention stand-down take to conduct?

It’s up to you. A stand-down could be as simple as a 15-minute toolbox talk or several hours of training over a week.

Source: OSHA

National Safety Stand-down to Prevent Falls in Construction

Ways to Prepare for a Successful Stand-down to Prevent Falls

  1. Try to start early. Designate a coordinator to organize the stand-down. If you have multiple work sites, identify the team that will lead the stand-down at each site.
  2. Think about asking your subcontractors, owners, architects, engineers or others associated with your project to participate in the stand-down.
  3. Consider reviewing your fall prevention program. This will help provide a more effective stand-down.
    1. What types of falls could happen:
  1. Falls from ladders
  2. Falls from a roof
  3. Falls from a scaffold
  4. Falls down stairs
  5. Falls from a structural steel
  6. Falls through a floor or roof opening
  7. Falls through a fragile roof surface
  1. What needs improvement? Is your program meeting its goals? Are you experiencing fatalities, injuries or near misses? Are employees aware of the company’s fall protection procedures?
  2. What training have you provided to your employees? Does it need revision?
  3. What equipment have you provided to your employees? Is better equipment available?
  4. Develop presentations or activities that will meet your needs. Decide what information will be best for your workplace and employees. The meeting should provide information to employees about hazards, protective methods and the company’s safety policies, goals and expectations. Hands-on exercises (e.g., a work site walk-around and equipment checks) can increase retention.
  5. Decide when to hold the stand-down and how long it will last. Decide if the stand-down will take place over a break, a lunch period or some other time.
  6. Promote the stand-down. Try to make it interesting to employees. Some employers find that serving snacks increases participation.
  7. Hold your stand-down. Try to make it positive and interactive. Let employees talk about their experiences and encourage them to make suggestions.
  8. Follow up. If you learned something that could improve your fall prevention program, consider making changes.

Source: OSHA

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