Monday marked the kickoff of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) 6th annual National Safety Stand Down campaign to try and curb the amount of fall fatalities and injuries in all construction trades, including roofing.
From May 6-10, the organization will focus attention on preventing falls in construction, the leading cause of fatalities in the industry. Roofing companies are encouraged to participate by voluntarily pausing during the workday for safety demonstrations, training in hazard recognition and fall prevention, and talks about hazards, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies, goals and expectations.
Employers are encouraged to provide feedback after their events, and to obtain a personalized certificate of participation.
Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers, accounting for 366 of the 971 construction fatalities recorded in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The national safety stand-down is part of OSHA’s fall prevention campaign, and was developed in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, National Occupational Research Agenda, and The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR). To learn more about preventing falls in construction, visit OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign page.
“Falls can be prevented when employers train and educate workers about these hazards properly and provide appropriate protection,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt in a release. “This should be a priority during the first week of May and must be a priority every day. OSHA has tools readily available for employers and workers to address the prevention of fall hazards.”
The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) will host free webinars in support of the campaign with its National Safety Stand-Down Week Webinar Series. It includes Fall Protection: Ladders, Guardrails and Warning Lines on May 7; Fall Protection: Personal Fall-arrest Systems (PFAS) on May 8; and Fall Protection: Rescue Techniques and Suspension Trauma, on May 9. All webinars will be from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST and you can register here.