Osha's National Safety Stand-down Is May 4-15, 2015 - Are You Ready?

Over one million workers nationwide joined OSHA's first annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction in 2014. This year, that number is expected to triple to three million. For the 2015 campaign, which takes place May 4-15, participants will be able to provide feedback and even earn a Certificate of Participation signed by Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. Anyone wanting to prevent falls in the workplace can benefit -- this includes commercial and independent contractors, highway construction, military and other government participants, employers trade associations, just to name a few.

Get prepared for the Stand-Down with these tips from OSHA:

  1. Try to start early. Designate a coordinator to organize the stand-down. If you have multiple work sites, identify the team that will lead the stand-down at each site.
  2. Think about asking your subcontractors, owner, architects, engineers, or others associated with your project to participate in the stand-down.
  3. Consider reviewing your fall prevention program. This will help provide a more effective stand-down.
    1. What types of falls could happen:
      • Falls from ladders
      • Falls from a roof
      • Falls from a scaffold
      • Falls down stairs
      • Falls from a structural steel
      • Falls through a floor or roof opening
      • Falls through a fragile roof surface
    2. What needs improvement? Is your program meeting its goals? Are you experiencing fatalities, injuries, or near misses? Are employees aware of the company's fall protection procedures?
    3. What training have you provided to your workers? Does it need revision?
    4. What equipment have you provided to your workers? Is better equipment available?
  4. Develop presentations or activities that will meet your needs. Decide what information will be best for your workplace and workers. The meeting should provide information to workers about hazards, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies, goals and expectations. Hands-on exercises (a worksite walkaround, equipment checks, etc.) can increase retention.
  5. Decide when to hold the stand-down and how long it will last. Decide if the stand-down will take place over a break, a lunch period, or some other time.
  6. Promote the stand-down. Try to make it interesting to workers. Some employers find that serving snacks increases participation.
  7. Hold your stand-down. Try to make it positive and interactive. Let workers talk about their experiences and encourage them to make suggestions.
  8. Follow up. If you learned something that could improve your fall prevention program, consider making changes.