IPAF supports OSHA’s national stand-down for fall prevention

By Lindsey Anderson13 May 2014

The U.S. Occupational & Safety Health Administration (OSHA) is promoting a national safety stand-down during the week of June 2-6 in an effort to raise awareness among employers and workers in the construction industry about the hazards of falls. The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) fully supports the program and strongly encourages all of its member companies to participate in this awareness event.

The safety stand-down is a voluntary pause during the workday to allow dedicated time for employers and employees to focus on recognizing hazards and preventing falls. The time can include toolbox or tailgate talks, safety presentations, or discussions on specific topics like ladder safety, scaffolding safety and the proper use of aerial platforms. The meeting provides information to workers about hazards, protective methods, and the company's safety policies, goals and expectations. The program is a part of OSHA’s fall prevention campaign to plan, provide and train – three simple steps to prevent falls. This should be included as part of a Stand-Down discussion.

Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers, accounting for over a third of all construction fatalities recorded in 2012. The majority of those deaths were preventable.

IPAF’s North American website, www.awpt.org, offers many tools that can be used at a safety stand-down. Under the “Publications & Films” tab, visitors can find free, downloadable documents. Of specific importance for this stand-down, visitors will find: (1) Best practice of personal fall protection systems for use with AWPs (2) A video about “Only dummies don’t wear harnesses on booms,” and (3) Best practice document on creating workplace risk assessments.

Learn more about the Safety Stand-Down on OSHA's website at www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown/index.html. Managers are encouraged to plan a stand-down that works best for their workplace anytime during the week of June 2-6.

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