Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 366 of the 971 construction fatalities in 2017 were caused by falls from elevation. All of these deaths are preventable.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, with support from the National Safety Council and dozens of other groups, asks employers to take a few minutes to discuss fall protection and safety when working from heights during the annual Fall Safety Stand Down in May.
What is the National Safety Stand-Down?
The program was originally a two-year effort, launched on Workers Memorial Day in 2012, to raise awareness of preventing fall hazards in construction. It was so successful, it continues at the start of every construction season. Tens of thousands of employers nationwide and more than a million workers participate in the annual Fall Safety Stand-Down.
All Industries Can Conduct a Stand-Down
Following highway crashes, falls are the second leading cause of workplace death. While construction workers are most at risk, falls can happen in agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and any other industry that involves working from height. NSC and OSHA encourage workers in all industries to conduct a Stand-Down. No company is too small to participate; roughly half of events nationwide are held by companies with 25 or fewer employees.
It's Easy to Conduct a Stand-Down
A Fall Safety Stand-Down can be a one-time event, or it can incorporate fall-safety events throughout the week. Managers are encouraged to plan a Stand-Down that works best for their workplace. Consider:
- Conducting a toolbox talk focused on ladder, scaffold or roof safety
- Conducting a safety inspection along with employees
- Developing a rescue plan
- Holding a training session
- Showing a safety video
Certificate of Participation
Employers are welcome to provide feedback about their Stand-Down and download a Certificate of Participation following their event(s). More information on how to submit your information will be available soon.
OSHA appreciates any feedback on the Stand-Down campaign and future outreach efforts. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lots of Resources are Available
OSHA offers handouts, posters, quizzes, fact sheets, stickers, t-shirts and more, as well as these suggestions on how to prepare for a successful Stand-Down. OSHA also posts a list of Stand-Down events being held across the country.
If you plan to host a free event open to the public, see OSHA's Events page to submit the event details and contact your regional Stand-Down coordinator.