Why a Stand-Down?

IMG_1762_01With all this talk about the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, you may be wondering, what is the benefit to the Stand-Down? OH&S Magazine had an article focusing on just that. According to the article, falls are still a leading cause of deaths in construction. During 2016, there were 370 fatalities related to falls out of 991 total fatalities in U.S. construction. The goal of the Stand-Down is to prevent accidents and fatalities caused by falls. OSHA and the Department of Labor recommend a three step process to preventing workplace accidents:
  • PLAN ahead to get the job done safely;
  • PROVIDE the right equipment; and
  • TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely
The Stand-Down focuses on the third step of the process. "The Stand-Down is not limited only to construction industry trades," Dean McKenzie, director of OSHA's Directorate of Construction, and Christine M. Branche, Ph.D., FACE, principal associate director of NIOSH and director of its Office of Construction Safety and Health, said in an email. "In fact, due to valuable information gathered from your participation in previous National Stand-Downs, we have found that many stakeholders within the construction industry as well as general industry and governmental entities join us in this event each year. Each year, large corporations and small companies have joined us to make this effort a success. If your employees work at height or are exposed to falls, you have a vested interest in standing down your operations to emphasize fall protection or other safety-related topics." Having proper training can help prevent workplace falls and the Stand-Down is part of that training.