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National Safety Stand-Down Week Focuses on Preventing Fall Fatalities

May 3, 2021
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has dedicated May 3-7, 2021, the eighth annual National Stand-Down to prevent falls in construction.

The bad news: Fatalities caused by falls accounted for one-fourth of construction fatalities in 2019, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The good news: These workplace fatalities are preventable.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has dedicated the week of May 3-7, 2021, as the eighth annual National Safety Stand-Down to prevent falls in construction.

A safety stand down is a voluntary event for employers to talk with workers about safety. 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.

“Workers suffer serious and fatal injuries from falls and have a devastating impact on families and businesses,” said James Frederick, principal deputy assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health in a statement. “This important collaboration with the construction industry encourages employers to learn how to better control fall-related hazards and improve their safety and health programs.”

OSHA developed the fall prevention campaign as part of the national safety stand-down and in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, National Occupational Research Agenda and The Center for Construction Research and Training. Since 2014, this collaboration has helped train nearly 10 million workers on fall prevention.

OSHA’s fall prevention stand-down webpage offers a wide range of compliance resources, including suggestions to prepare for a successful stand-down and highlights from previous stand-downs. The Events page lists local area events. Participants can also receive a certificate of completion.

OSHA is encouraging those who take part in the stand-down to capture and share their experiences using the hashtag #StandDown4Safety on social media.

The following organizations and companies are also offering the following falls protection education and training:

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) has announced fall protection courses and new online safety resources in observance of National Safety Stand-Down week. ASSP’s new online fall protection toolbox offers resources employers need to identify and control risks, provide relevant training and protect workers at height. The toolbox contains free webinars, articles and podcasts from industry experts as well as online instructor-led or self-paced safety courses. Safety professionals can also download a free copy of the Fall Protection Code that outlines the complete series of Z359 standards. ASSP is offering courses for purchase on managed fall protection (starting May 13), effective fall protection programs (starting May 18) and fall protection equipment (available now).

JLG Industries, Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation company and global manufacturer of mobile elevating work platforms and telehandlers, has developed on-demand safety content including daily safety checks, videos, articles and blog posts accessible on its website. This includes content promoting ladder and scaffolding replacement products such as low-level access lifts that minimize falls when working at heights up to 20 feet and the latest safety enhancements to boom and scissor lift lines.

Werner, the manufacturer of ladders, climbing products and fall protection equipment, will offer both on-site and virtual safety training throughout the month. The company’s 36-member National Jobsite Safety and Security Team will be traveling the U.S. leading fall protection and ladder safety training sessions. Participants will receive a certificate of completion from WernerCo as proof of training and can be used by the company for insurance purposes. Werner will also offer two free webinars on the ABCDE’s of fall protection at 9-9:30 a.m. ET on May 11 and at 3-3:30 p.m. ET on May 18

The global manufacturer of aerial lift equipment Genie, a Terex brand, is offering a free online jobsite supervisor training for worksites where mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPS), such as boom or scissor lifts, are used to perform work at height. The course meets all of the requirements set forth in the new ANSI A92.22 Safe Use and A92.24 Training standards. Upon finishing the two-hour course and final exam, participants can print a certificate of completion. 

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