Falls from elevated surfaces have continuously ranked as the leading cause of death in the construction industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (B.L.S.), 35% of all construction fatalities in 2020 resulted from elevated falls, 351 deaths out of 1,008.
Most construction falls are preventable with the implementation of safety training and fall protection equipment. To help encourage workplaces to prioritize fall safety, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (O.S.H.A.) created the National Safety Stand-Down Week to spread awareness and inspire action.
From May 2 to May 6, workplaces are encouraged to discuss fall protection with their employees to decrease the risk of workplace fatalities and injuries, but this is merely a jumping off point. Fatal falls occur in the workplace throughout the year, and employers can benefit from frequent stand-downs to help keep workers safe. Here are a few things to consider before you start.
What is a Safety Stand-Down?
A safety stand-down is a genuine conversation and gathering of employees to discuss fall prevention and safety habits related to the workplace. These can include toolbox talks, luncheons, community events, or whatever type of gathering fits the culture of the workplace. They are geared towards having honest conversations regarding current fall hazards and safety concerns and planning to address them to protect workers on the job.
When Should You Host a Safety Stand-Down?
Safety stand-downs are most effective when all or most construction crew members attend. The more workers employers can encourage to become involved in increasing workplace safety, the greater chance of reducing accidents. These meetings can be hosted at any time, not just during National Safety Stand-Down Week. Fall protection is an ongoing hazard that should be planned for and discussed all year round.
Discussion Topics for Safety Stand-Downs
A safety stand-down is the perfect time to discuss current safety concerns related to fall hazards or other safety issues affecting workers. Employers may choose to review past accidents, safety training bits, or inspect Personal Protective Equipment. No topics related to safety are off-limits if they will help workers perform their jobs safely.
Other Tips for Safety Stand-Downs
Regardless of when, how often, or what you choose to do during your safety stand-down, remember to show workers you value their safety. Workers who feel valued by employers are more likely to build a positive workplace culture of safety, looking out for hazards and coworkers on every shift.
Employers can show value by presenting certificates to employees who show exceptional safety efforts during stand-downs, sharing personal stories, continuing to check in monthly, or showing their support for their workers outside of the workplace. Employers can also share their stories on social media using #StandDown4Safety or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to show support.
Jacobs & Wallace Workplace Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love is injured in an accident, you need an experienced law firm to represent you. Jacobs & Wallace, PLLC, has decades of experience fighting for the rights of Connecticut’s injured victims. Please contact us today for a FREE case evaluation: 203-332-7700.