Falls from an elevated position continue to the leading cause of death for construction employees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 37% (370 out of 991) of construction fatalities recorded in 2016 were caused by a fall. The overarching goal of the National Safety Stand-Down campaign is to raise fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to eliminate fall fatalities and injuries.
Even though falls are the leading cause of construction fatalities, those falls are preventable. The use of hazard elimination, proper planning, training, and use of proper fall protection equipment can decrease and even eliminate these alarming statistics.
The term “safety stand-down” is used to describe an event when normal work is paused and so the entire work site can focus on a specific work safety issue.
This particular “safety stand-down” campaign was launched in 2014 in the hope that employers will take it as an opportunity to pause work and have a discussion with employees about fall hazards, prevention, and training and proper use of safety equipment. The stand-down is a weeklong event and in 2018 it runs from May 7-11.
According to OSHA, millions of construction workers have participated in stand-downs since the campaign began, with fall prevention stand-downs taking place in all 50 states and even internationally. Resources containing more information can be found on OSHA’s website.