In its fifth year, the movement encourages companies and workers to pause during the workday for discussions
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has kicked-off its fifth annual National Safety Stand-Down to prevent falls. The movement, May 7-11, encourages companies to talk to employees about safety, training, hazards and fall prevention.
Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 370 of the 991 construction fatalities recorded in 2016 (BLS data). The National Safety Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries, OSHA said.
In past years, participants included commercial construction companies of all sizes, residential construction contractors, sub- and independent contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, the U.S. Military, other government participants, unions, employer’s trade associations, institutes, employee interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers.
Companies can conduct a Safety Stand-Down by taking a break to have a toolbox talk or another safety activity such as conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job specific hazards. Managers are encouraged to plan a stand-down that works best for their workplace anytime during the week.
Manufacturers Genie, JLG and Skyjack have announced plans to participate.
JLG will be leading a number of discussions at customer locations across the country to discuss how low-level access products, ladder and scaffolding alternatives that deliver a maximum work height/reach of 20 feet or less, can help companies minimize the risks associated with falls from height.
“This is JLG’s fourth year in supporting OSHA to raise awareness regarding the risks associated with working at height. Education and advocacy are fundamental to developing a safety culture,” said Randy Marzicola, director – business development, JLG Industries, Inc. “The National Safety Stand-Down is an opportunity for JLG to enhance communication about the importance of considering safer equipment solutions and wearing the appropriate PFPE for the equipment selected.”
Genie encourages employers to talk with employees and customers about why safety on aerial jobsites is so important. “It is our goal to help you raise awareness of fall hazards and help you educate others on working safely at height,” the company said.
“Safety is at the core of Skyjack’s business and our efforts as an OEM go beyond simply designing and manufacturing,” said Brad Boehler, president at Skyjack. “As an example, we published a white paper outlining our safety initiatives earlier this year and have been actively promoting those through our internal and external channels. This white paper highlights industry safety standards, familiarization, a host of information published by Skyjack, social media outreach, new design standards, and more.”
For more on the Safety Stand-Down, visit OSHA’s website.