|May 8, 2015 · Volume 14, Issue 10|
The 2015 National Safety Stand-Down is Underway!
Employers and workers across the country stop work to focus on fall prevention
On Monday, May 4, OSHA kicked off the 2015 National Safety Stand-Down. Across the country and around the globe, this week and next, employers and employees are voluntarily stopping work to talk about falls and how to prevent them.
"Falls from heights remain the leading cause of death for construction workers," said Deputy Labor Secretary Chris Lu. "Over the last 10 years, more than 3,500 workers have died as a result of falls – more than 1 in 3 of all construction deaths."
Workplaces deaths and injuries from falls are preventable, and the best protection a worker can have is an employer who takes the time and effort to plan ahead, to provide the correct fall prevention equipment, and to train each worker in the proper use of that equipment.
This year OSHA and its partners are trying to reach 20,000 companies and 3 million of their workers during the two-week stand-down. Many fall prevention events have already taken place across the country this week. The American Society of Safety Engineers focused on fall hazards during its annual North American Occupational Safety and Health Week, which included a panel on fall prevention at ASSE's America's At-Risk Workers Symposium on May 6 in Washington, D.C. Nearly 1,000 students and workers gathered at the Durham, Conn., fairgrounds to participate in a fall prevention "rodeo" May 5-6, featuring free training presented by the Associated Builders and Contractors. And this is just the beginning!
With another week to go, there's still time to get involved and get a Certificate of Participation. OSHA's public events page lists more than 100 events that are free and open to the public. Next week's highlights include a large stand-down event at the new Falcons Stadium Partnership site in Atlanta, Ga., the inaugural Houston Fall Prevention Day in Houston, Texas, both on Tuesday, May 12, and a roofing safety webinar hosted by the National Roofing Contractors Association.
Several international worksites are participating in this year’s stand-down. Kuwait Oil Company plans to lead stand-downs every work-day from May 6-17. In Japan, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to elevate awareness of fall hazards by disseminating its own Safety Stand-Down materials as part of a fall prevention training package.
OSHA's Stand-Down page offers a resources section for anyone interested in holding a stand-down. Among the resources are a Fall Prevention Training Guide in English and Spanish, fact sheets, wallet cards, and promotional posters. After hosting or participating in a stand-down, OSHA reminds employers and workers to visit the OSHA Stand-Down webpage or the National Safety Council webpage to print an official Certificate of Participation signed by the Secretary of Labor to recognize your business' commitment to workplace safety.
Stand-Down event held in front of the U.S. Capitol
OSHA and Turner Construction join together for Fall Stand-Down
Restoration work at the U.S. Capitol Dome has been a prominent feature of the D.C. skyline for more than a year now. Inside an impressive 288-foot vault wrapped by a web of scaffolding, the dome's workers safely climb in and out every day making repairs to cracks in the iconic structure.
In the shadow of this historic project, on Wednesday, May 6, hundreds of construction workers stopped work and gathered in a park near the U.S. Capitol building to focus on their safety. The event was hosted by Turner Construction with support from the Architect of the Capitol, and the U.S. Department of Labor.
DOL Deputy Secretary Chris Lu challenged those gathered to "keep talking about fall hazards, keep educating and training your workers, and keep dedicating yourselves to preventing falls at your worksites. Together, we can ensure that at the end of every workday, every worker can go home safe."
Turner Construction representatives and safety experts addressed the audience, provided a review of fall protection and scaffold safety practices, and demonstrated proper use of fall protection equipment.
The restoration of the Capitol Dome is a multi-year project to repair more than 1,000 cracks and deficiencies to ensure that the dome will safely serve future generations of visitors and employees. Turner-Smoot is the lead contractor on this project, and the Architect of the Capitol is overseeing its completion.
The United States Air Force has once again committed its support for the National Safety Stand-Down by hosting events that will reach more than 1.5 million active-duty Airmen, Guard, Reserve, civilians and family members stationed around the world. The Air Force has also partnered with other Department of Defense agencies for the widest possible reach, including international bases.
The Air Force experiences hundreds of fall incidents annually that result in thousands of lost man-hours as well as injuries and deaths. During the two-week effort, every individual or unit is encouraged to take some time to review fall hazards in their workplace or at home. Supervisors can work with unit safety representatives to develop events such as a discussion, a presentation, or invite a guest speaker to highlight fall risks.
"This is as an important issue to the Air Force, as it is to me," said Bill Parsons, Air Force chief of ground safety. "Preventing fall injuries and fatalities in every workplace &emdash; the flight line, the construction site, the office and at home &emdash; through education and awareness keeps our Airmen mission ready."
In addition to OSHA and NIOSH, the Air Force is partnering with the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force Exchange Services, Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Department of Energy.
There is still time for your 2015 Stand-Down!
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