By: Mark Wandersee and Michael Knox
Falls are one of the major contributors to workplace fatalities and is the leading contributor in the construction industry. Content includes statistics and products to use in your safety program, as well as information regarding OSHA’s (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) National Safety Stand Down.
Fall Prevention is an area of focus for OSHA in the month of September. OSHA and the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) report that in 2018 there were 320 fatal falls to a lower level out of 1,008 construction fatalities. Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry; however, falls are not specific to the construction industry. According to the 2018 BLS data, fatal events for slips, trips and falls totaled 791 with 651 of these avoidable deaths being falls to a lower level. Visit this link for more information regarding injury statistics.
Use proper safety measures
The importance of proper safety measures such as barriers and railings in general industry can prevent employees from falling into dangerous machinery. The proper inspection and use of fall protection harness and other gear can save a life when accidents happen. Visit this link for more information regarding safety harness inspections.
We encourage all industries regardless of fall hazards to take a moment in September to discuss the dangers of falls and to take steps to ensure safety while working at heights. This information is vital for the workplace, but could also be useful for employees that are doing home maintenance, saving a life and reducing out of work injuries that still have a costly impact on daily operations.
Promote OSHA’s National Safety Stand Down campaign
OSHA has declared a National Safety Stand Down to Prevent Falls in Construction for September 14-18. This is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Any workplace can hold a stand-down by taking a break to focus on "Fall Hazards" and reinforcing the importance of "Fall Prevention." It can also be an opportunity for employees to talk to management about fall and other job hazards they see.
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. A Safety Stand-Down should provide an opportunity for employers and employees to talk about hazards, protective methods, and the company's safety policies, goals and expectations.
In order to make participating in the Stand-Down as easy as possible, we’ve gathered some of our top resources in one location - https://stopconstructionfalls.com/one-stop-stand-down-shop/
Reach out to your Marsh & McLennan Agency Safety Consultant if you have any questions or would like assistance creating a toolbox talk, training, or handout for your stand-down event.