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OSHA's National Safety Stand-Down

Written by Staff Writer

OSHA's National Safety Stand-Down

Since 2012, OSHA has implemented the National Fall Protection Stand-Down, a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of fall hazards on construction worksites.

Each year, millions of workers participate in fall protection campaign events — from trainings and meetings to equipment inspections, presentations and toolbox talks. Utilizing creative and interactive methods, this ongoing campaign is designed to focus on fall protection in the workplace and ultimately prevent injuries and save lives.

Any employee who participates in an official campaign activity can register on OSHA's website and receive an official Certificate of Participation signed by the United States Secretary of Labor.

Why Is Fall Protection Important?

Falls are a leading cause of death for construction employees. OSHA designates falling as one of the Focus Four hazards on construction sites. Fall protection standards are among the most frequently cited OSHA violations.

The deaths and other nonfatal injuries caused by falls are considered to be very preventable; in most investigations, accidents were caused by the violation of established standards, and utilizing the proper training, equipment or prevention procedures could have mitigated tragic consequences. Because of the sheer volume of incidents each year, fall protection is an incredibly important topic to spotlight during the annual fall protection event.

How Can Falls Be Prevented?

Employers for construction worksites are required to train workers thoroughly on common hazards and safety measures in accordance with OSHA standards.

OSHA prescribes these three steps to prevent falls and save lives:

  • Plan ahead to get the job done safely.
  • Provide the right personal protective equipment (PPE) to construction workers.
  • Train everyone to identify hazards and use PPE safely.

Participation Ideas

A "Safety Stand-Down" is any event where employers talk directly to employees about safety. Companies across the country have chosen many different methods of participating in the Fall Protection Stand-Down. OSHA provides some great resources and suggestions for businesses to develop their own activities, including a calendar of local events that are free to the public.

Don’t worry if you miss the annual week-long event! The purpose of the campaign is to generate conversation year-round about fall protection and prevention in your company.

Here are some ideas on how you can join the conversation and participate:

  • Review your company's Fall Protection program.
    • Does the program cover all types of falls?
    • Are you meeting your goals? What could be improved?
    • Are employees aware of established procedures?
    • Is your equipment up to date and up to standards?
  • Inspect all fall protection equipment.
    • Check the manuals or websites of your equipment manufacturer. They will include information about how to inspect the equipment and also when to replace equipment due to age or overuse.
    • Put together equipment inspection instructions for workers to use throughout the year.
  • Have workers complete appropriate training.
  • Develop hands-on activities to increase information retention.
    • Worksite walks with hazard identification
    • Equipment checks
    • Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS) demonstrations
  • Encourage active participation from workers.
    • Offer rewards for participating in Safety Stand-Down activities and education programs.
    • Conduct discussions with employees about their concerns or ideas.
    • Identify an OSHA Stand Down committee to address issues and initiatives throughout the year.

Participate Today

Remember that every injury or fatality caused by falling on a construction site is preventable. Participating in this voluntary safety campaign can prevent tragedy on your jobsite.

OSHA offers many informational resources to help workers and employers promote hazard awareness and safety best practices. Visit the administration’s website for guides, flyers and posters you can share in your workplace.

Start learning with fall protection or prevention courses, prepare to become a designated competent person or protect your team by partnering with OSHA Education Center. We offer 100% online training available from any internet-connected device. For employers, we offer bulk discounts and robust tools for businesses of all sizes. Every day is a good day to hold a stand-down — so sign up today!