By Michael Matthews, Corporate Safety Director
Fatalities caused by falls from elevation have been a leading cause of construction worker death for many years. In 2019, Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that almost 40% of the over 1,000 construction fatalities that year resulted from falls from elevation. To bring awareness to this serious safety issue, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is hosting the 8th annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction from May 3rd – 7th, 2021, and we hope you can join us in participating in this important industry event.
Quite simply, a Safety Stand-Down is an opportunity for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Any workplace can hold a Stand-Down by taking a break to focus on fall hazards and reinforcing the importance of fall prevention. Many participants organize “toolbox talks” and commit to discussing fall safety while inspecting equipment and reviewing specific jobsite hazards.
As part of the National Safety Stand-Down, Duro-Last® Quality Assurance Technical Representatives will review a safety topic each day before starting their work. Topics to be covered include:
- General ladder safety
- Annual ladder inspections
- Safe warning line usage
- Rescue plan development
- Review of Duro-Last’s Standard Operating Procedure for proper PPE usage
We encourage our network of contractors to also participate in this event by setting aside time to have open discussions with employees regarding fall safety and safety on the jobsite. This is an opportunity to not only reinforce safety expectations with your teams, but to have open and honest conversations that allow for employees to provide feedback and suggestions. When everyone commits to doing their part, we can improve safety for the entire industry!
Employers that organize Stand-Down activities will be able to provide feedback about their discussions and download an official Certificate of Participation. For more information about the National Stand-Down initiative and to download additional resources, visit https://www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown/.