May 2 – May 6, 2016 is National Fall Prevention Stand-Down week.
OSHA’s National Fall Prevention Stand-Down campaign raises awareness to prevent fall hazards in construction. To ensure the safety of workers and help prevent accidents companies can start by implementing the following three steps:
Employers who participate in National Fall Prevention Stand-Down Week can receive a Certificate of Participation signed by the Secretary of Labor, Thomas E. Perez. The downloadable certificate will be made available beginning May 2, 2016 on the OSHA National Fall Prevention Stand-Down certificate page.
Who is eligible to participate? As stated by OSHA, the following groups are eligible:
Commercial construction companies of any size, residential construction contractors, subcontractors, independent contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, the U.S. Military, other government participants, unions, employer’s trade associations, institutes, worker interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers.
Employers can provide Safety Stand-Downs to their employees during the week. A “Safety Stand-Down” is a voluntary session that gives employers the opportunity to directly address safety with its employees focusing on fall hazards and fall prevention. Safety Stand-Downs can include:
Planned toolbox talks or other safety activities
Breaks to talk about how to prevent falls
Formal safety training for all workers
The first step in fall prevention safety is to talk about it – when there is a clear understanding of proper protocols and procedures that provide the most safety, there is a decrease in accidents.
Following the initial discussion, the next preventative measure is to make sure employees have proper safety equipment for fall prevention. PPE, or personal protective equipment, better equipped for fall hazards include fall protection lanyards and pulling grips.
Finally, in addition to providing the necessary safety supplies make sure employees are properly trained on how to use all equipment. Improper use of safety equipment can also lead to accidents that could have been avoided with sufficient training.