Falls from height continue to be one of the leading causes of injuries and deaths in the construction industry. The statistics are pretty sobering. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, almost 9,000 construction workers across the country experienced a fall that caused them to miss work in 2012. The number of fatalities from falls in construction actually increased from 2011 to 2012, and accounted for 269 of 775 fatalities reported in 2012.
Even with the growing focus on safety over the years, it’s clear more needs to be done. And that’s the inspiration behind OSHA’s new program, the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, scheduled for the week of June 2-6, 2014.
What is it?
The National Safety Stand-Down campaign is an effort to raise awareness among employers and workers about the dangers of falls. The program offers employers the perfect opportunity to engage in activities with their workers to educate them about safety hazards and fall prevention.
And there are plenty of tools to help. As part of the campaign, OSHA, NIOSH, and the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) have created www.stopconstructionfalls.com, a website offering a wealth of resources including sample toolbox talks, instructional videos, handouts, research reports, tips for trainers, and other educational tools. And as a stark reminder of the dangers of falls, you can check out the website’s interactive Fatality Map showing how many lives were lost to construction falls in 2013. It’s a record everyone in the industry would like to improve.
How can you get involved?
The National Safety Stand-Down is voluntary for employers, but it’s the perfect chance to raise awareness among your employees about fall hazards and company safety policies. The five-day program is divided up into activities you can do with your workers in only 15-30 minutes a day, such as “toolbox talks” on various safety topics. There’s even a simple, cost-free plan you can use as is, or tailor to your jobsite and schedule.
OSHA hopes this event will not only raise awareness, but also help employers better comply with fall prevention safety standards, which were among the top 10 most frequent violations in 2012.
Here are some other steps you can take to join the campaign:
- Read the How-To guide on joining the Campaign to develop your own “Safety Pays, Falls Cost” campaign
- Help get the word out with the Campaign to Prevent Falls Flyer
- Add a link to www.stopconstructionfalls.com from your website
- Make a presentation using materials from the campaign at an upcoming meeting or event
- Like the campaign’s Facebook page
- Post campaign-related information, photos, events, and resources on your own Facebook page
- Follow @NIOSHConstruct on Twitter and re-tweet the latest campaign news.
Where to go for more information
Be sure to visit www.stopconstructionfalls.com for a wealth of resources you can use for your own National Safety Stand-Down campaign. For more information about fall prevention, visit the websites of NIOSH and OSHA.
And don’t forget – with over 150 years of experience in the New York construction insurance market, BNC Insurance and Risk Advisors knows your risks better than most. See us for all of your New York construction insurance needs.
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