By: Michael Matthews, Corporate Safety Director
Each year, nearly 1/3 of all fatalities in the construction industry are attributed to “falls from elevation,” including falls from roofs. These fatalities can be prevented by planning ahead, utilizing appropriate equipment while on the roof or working on elevated surfaces, and ensuring that everyone on the crew is properly trained how to use equipment safely.
In an effort to bring awareness to preventable injuries and fatalities caused by falls, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) hosts the National Safety Stand-Down week, scheduled for May 2nd through 6th this year. The purpose of this event is to encourage employers and construction crews to set aside time throughout the week to “stand down” from work and have open conversations about fall hazards on the job, as well as safety equipment and protocols.
Participation in National Safety Stand-Down week can be as simple as dedicating morning “Tool Box Talks” to any fall-related topics, including:
- Common and uncommon fall hazards to be aware of (especially on the rooftop)
- Proper equipment usage
- Project planning
- Rescue planning
- Understanding suspension trauma
- Equipment inspection
- Understanding OSHA rules and regulations
- Donning and offing of equipment
- Ladder safety
- Equipment limitations
- Company resource availability
- And many more topics
Duro-Last Sales Representatives and Quality Assurance Technical Representatives in the field will be participating in National Safety Stand-Down talks and activities through the week, and we encourage you to do the same with your crews. For more information and helpful resources on National Safety Stand-Down activities, visit https://www.osha.gov/stop-falls-stand-down.