Falls continue to be the leading cause of death in construction. Between 2003-2013 OSHA reported more than 3,500 deaths resulting from construction falls. In 2015 alone there were 350 fatal falls, out of 937 total construction fatalities. All those deaths were preventable.
In response to the overwhelming number of fall-related injuries and fatalities, the Construction Fall Prevention campaign was launched in 2012 by a partnership including OSHA, NIOSH, CPWR, and the NORA Construction Sector Council. The aim of the national campaign is to prevent fatal falls from ladders, scaffolds, and roofs.
The National Safety Stand-Down was added to the campaign in 2014 to increase awareness and participation by bringing together contractors, workers, and safety organizations to focus on preventing falls. On behalf of all our partners and stakeholders, we encourage employers, employees, and associations to participate in this year’s National Stand-Down during the week of May 8-12, 2017. Employers are encouraged to set aside time to have open discussions with employees about falls and how to prevent them. The event has an impressive track record, with thousands of companies participating across all 50 states and internationally. Last year alone, more than 130 public events were held, along with thousands of private stand-downs.
You can be part of this effort to increase awareness and reduce the number of deaths and injuries that result from work-related falls. Help us promote the fall prevention campaign and National Safety Stand-Down. It’s an excellent opportunity to make sure you’re doing everything you can to eliminate fall hazards. Let’s continue to reach out and make sure that workers safely return home to their families each day.
Join us for the 3rd annual Stand-Down event being held in Portland on Friday, May 12, 2017 at the Sheet Metal Institute. Partners in Oregon and Washington have collaborated to promote this free, 5-hour class on construction fall hazard awareness that will also include a panel of industry experts sharing useful, innovative safety tips. Click here to register for the class; and additional Stand-Down information can be found here.
Submitted by Barb Epstien, OR-FACE Fatality Investigator/Outreach Specialist