When it comes to workplace hazards, falls from heights are in a class of their own. Falls are the leading cause of construction worker deaths on the job, and fall protection holds not one but two spots on the OSHA Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards (#1 and #8). Even worse, “disregard or plain indifference” for fall protection puts it on the top of OSHA’s Top 10 list of Willful Violations for 2018.
It’s no wonder, then, that OSHA created the annual National Safety Stand-Down to raise awareness around the importance of fall protection. This year’s Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction takes place May 6-10 and encourages employers to take a break from their regular activities to talk directly to employees about fall protection, in particular, and safety, in general.
If you’d like to participate in this year’s OSHA Safety Stand-Down, but the idea of taking time to plan another event seems daunting, here are a few tips to help you participate and to help prevent future workplace accidents:
Tips To Prevent Workplace Accidents:
Some people consider OSHA a four-letter word. In this case the four-letter word is “EASY.”
The Safety Stand-Down is an anytime-anywhere event. OSHA encourages managers to conduct the Stand-Down meeting at a time and place that works best for their workplace, wherever and whenever staff can be easily and quickly gathered during the week of May 6-10.
Use an already scheduled meeting or regular activity to conduct your Stand-Down.
It’s not necessary to pre-register a Stand-Down event. OSHA recommends taking a break for a toolbox talk or working the Stand-Down into another required safety activity such as equipment inspection, training or developing rescue plans. The goal is to make it easy for employers to tackle this critical safety issue and, in turn, prevent future construction falls.
Use OSHA’s wealth of resources
OSHA provides tips on how to create a successful Stand-Down and offers toolbox talks and training materials through its fall prevention resource webpage. If your company uses digital signage in the workplace or on the job site, you can take advantage of OSHA’s 3-minute-long Falls in Construction videos, and reinforce best practices for floor openings, skylights, fixed scaffolds, bridge decking, re-roofing and leading edge work.
Display your Certificate of Participation with pride
Once you’ve conducted your Stand-Down, restate your commitment to fall prevention by displaying the National Safety Stand-Down Certificate of Participation. It signals to your employees–and to temporary workers as well as visitors–that their safety is important to you. To get your certificate anytime after May 6, visit OSHA’s Stop Falls Stand-Down or the National Safety Council’s (NSC) webpages.
Commit to regular communication about the importance of fall protection
Once you see how easy it is to work the Safety Stand-Down event into your regular work day, make it a point to regularly reinforce the importance of proper training, behavior and PPE. Take advantage of the resources provided by both OSHA and the NSC and utilize bulletin boards or digital signage to capture employee’s attention and remind them of the importance of fall protection year-round.
To learn more about Marlin’s workplace digital signage solution, which features a year-round campaign of award-winning, PPE, fall protection and safety best practices videos, visit www.themarlincompany.com.