Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 378 of the 986 (38%) of construction fatalities recorded in 2021 (BLS data). Per the data from the 2020 BLS data. Those deaths were preventable. (https://www.osha.gov/stop-falls-stand-down, 03/29/2023) While the statistics are not stated here, there are many worker fatalities in the manufacturing/industrial industries (General Industry) as well that were just as tragic and just as preventable.
While the effort is year-round to prevent falls from heights, a good opportunity to focus on the prevention efforts is during the annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, which is in its 10th year, to be conducted this year May 1-5.
Any person or employer that wants to prevent fall hazards in the workplace can participate in the Stand-Down. In past, participants included employers in the construction industry, general industry, and the U.S. Military. The events can be organized or hosted by employers, unions, employer’s trade associations, employee interest organizations, safety equipment manufacturers and others with an interest.
Group that are partnering, specifically, to assist with this national effort include OSHA, NIOSH, National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), OSHA approved State Plans, State consultation programs, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), the National Safety Council, the National Construction Safety Executives (NCSE), the U.S. Air Force, and the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers.
For more information go to the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction webpage on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration website, osha.gov or to this specific link: https://www.osha.gov/stop-falls-stand-down .
For more information and/or assistance, contact:
Wayne Vanderhoof CSP, CIT
RJR Safety Inc.