Each year, OSHA promotes a National Safety Stand Down to Prevent Falls in Construction. This began as a campaign to bring awareness to employers about one of the industry’s deadliest safety hazards.  In a couple of years, the campaign transformed into a voluntary stand down event to encourage employers to engage with their workers regarding fall hazards, which includes recognizing fall hazards and mitigating them.  Unfortunately, falls retain their #1 status as the industry’s deadliest safety hazard in 2024.  In fact, the total number of recorded fall injuries has increased over time.
On May 6, 2024, OSHA’s National Safety Stand Down to Prevent Falls in Construction reaches its 10-year anniversary. In that time, significant changes have been observed in fall-related injuries within the construction industry. While total fall-related injuries have decreased from 25.5% of all reported non-fatal injuries in 2013 to 15% in 2022, the number of fall-related deaths has increased, indicating a need for continued attention and preventive measures. One could draw the conclusion that fall hazards are being mitigated on a larger scale than before, but falls remain one of the deadliest safety hazards in the construction industry.
A greater awareness of the dangers of fall hazards is still needed and can lead to more conversations about fall hazards and even other hazards that are present on jobsites.  These conversations are important for workers and employers to recognize those dangers and make efforts to prevent injuries.  An effective method to hold these conversations could come in the form of a toolbox talk, or a meeting in which another safety activity is performed to encourage safe work behavior.  OSHA encourages managers to take time to conduct these safety stand downs and provides a variety of resources to assist in covering fall-related safety topics.  OSHA also hosts in-person and livestream events in an effort to reach out to all who work in the construction industry to talk about fall hazards and prevention.
Significant progress has been made in fall awareness compared to when OSHA first started their campaign.  Several industries both large and small have joined the National Stand Down to educate their workers and seek better solutions to prevent these hazards from happening on their jobsites.  Ten years ago, the thought of stopping work to discuss a safety hazard was not highly embraced, but now more companies are seeing it as an opportunity to promote the importance of maintaining a healthy and safe work place.
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