The state of Indiana as well as the rest of Region 5 (Illinois, Ohio, etc.) of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be holding a national “Safety Stand Down” targeting safety on construction sites, specifically construction injuries on the job that involve slip and falls or trip and falls and the resulting, often serious, falling injuries.
Part of this Safety Stand-Down will be events that raise the awareness of employers, employees, and the general public about the dangers of falls and fall injuries in construction work.
However, there will also be inspections of construction job sites where things like power lines, trenches, and fall protection equipment will be checked to find any hazards and fix them before someone gets hurt.
Construction Fall Injuries Are Leading Cause of Death for Construction Workers
According to OSHA research studies, deaths due to fall injuries on construction sites, where workers fall from an elevated position while working on the job, are the number one cause of death for American construction workers.
In 2012, 35% of the construction workers who died in this country died as a result of a fall. That’s over a third of construction worker deaths — and falls are injuries that with enough safety protocols in place are PREVENTABLE ACCIDENTS.
The purpose of the National Fall Prevention Stand-Down is to raise awareness of preventing fall hazards in construction. Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers, accounting for 269 of the 775 construction fatalities recorded in 2012. Those deaths were preventable. Fall prevention safety standards were among the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards, during fiscal year 2012.
What is a Safety Stand-Down?
Safety Stand Downs are organized events in which companies are invited to participate: even though OSHA is sponsoring this Construction Fall Awareness Safety Stand-Down, it is not a required event under federal law or agency regulation.
Employers that hold a Safety Stand Down event to help fight against Construction Fall Dangers are doing so voluntarily. During the upcoming week (June 2-6, 2014), construction workers may be invited by their employers to stop work for a short talk about falling hazards on their site, or see inspectors checking all their safety equipment, for example. OSHA has lots of helpful tips for those interested in holding a Stand Down event for construction workers next week.
OSHA wants to have 500,000 workers involved in this year’s Construction Fall Awareness Safety Stand-Down, which translates to reaching 10% of the construction workers on job sites today in the USA.
That’s a pretty low number, to educate and reach only 10% of our nation’s construction workers, isn’t it?
Construction workers on all job sites, particularly in Indiana and Illinois, where we face particularly dangerous hazards like snow and ice and low temperatures during much of the year, need to know about the risk of personal injury and permanent harm from a work site fall accident as well as the real danger of fall fatalities for construction workers.
Hopefully, there will a lot of Indiana Safety Stand Down events for our construction workers this year.