YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Sam Boak hosted an annual National Stand-Down for Safety event on Tuesday, May 7, at the Boak & Sons' building in northeast, Ohio.
About 125 Ohio roofing and construction industry professionals were in attendance.
National Stand-Down for Safety Day is a day to focus on fall hazards and the importance of fall prevention in the construction industry. Fatalities caused by falls from elevation is the leading cause of death for construction employees.
"We are always looking for ways to improve employee safety on job sites," said Sam Boak, president of the Boak & Sons. "This includes buying the latest and best equipment, regular in-house maintenance and inspections, and continued training and resources for our crews. National Safety Stand-Down Day is a great opportunity for us to highlight the risk of falls from elevation and take a proactive role in helping to prevent such tragedies."
National Stand-Down Day was started by OSHA in 2014 as part of a campaign to raise awareness of fall hazards and fall prevention in the construction industry. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 366 of the 971 construction fatalities recorded in 2017. Sadly, most of these deaths were preventable.
With a focus on exterior contracting, much of the work done through Boak & Sons is off the ground. Whether it's commercial or residential roofing, siding, gutters, or windows, crews work at higher elevations that demand enhanced safety measures and attention to detail.
To help celebrate the day, Sam Boak brought in Matt Jensen of 3M to speak to the 125 Ohio roofing and construction industry professionals in attendance. 3M manufactures fall protection equipment, including full-body harnesses and more.
Jensen spoke about equipment inspection, proper donning of a harness, common equipment misuses, and fall protection. There was also a drop test demonstration showing the forces exerted on the body during a fall with different fall protection products.
"Falls that occur at 20 feet or less are the most fatal falls in our industry," said Jensen. "It doesn't have to be a 50-foot drop to get hurt."