The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is asking the construction industry to do their part in protecting workers from potentially deadly falls during the annual National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction week.
Held May 2-6, the event encourages construction workers and stakeholders to promote awareness and training addressing one of the industry’s most dangerous hazards. In roofing, falls are the leading cause of death, claiming the lives of 80 roofers in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Falls from roofs accounted for 34% of fall deaths from 2003 to 2013.
"Exposure to fall hazards makes roofing work among the most dangerous jobs in construction. OSHA requires fall protection when working at heights greater than 6 feet," OSHA Area Director Howard Eberts in Cleveland said in a written statement.
OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down webpage has multiple resources for employers to use during the week to encourage safety in the workplace. This includes a publication dedicated to protecting roofing workers from falls, with information on fall protection requirements, personal protection equipment and fall arrest systems.
In conjunction with National Safety Stand-Down, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) is holding a free three-day webinar series May 3-5. The webinars cover fall arrest systems, ladder use, and rescue techniques. Each webinar features a 30-minute presentation plus an additional 30 minutes for questions and answers. Visit nrca.net for more information.
OSHA developed the fall prevention campaign as part of the national safety stand-down and in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, National Occupational Research Agenda, and The Center for Construction Research and Training. The stand down coincides with Construction Safety Week, an annual industrywide education and awareness event originally formed in 2014. This year’s theme is “Connected. Supported. Safe.”
Safety Week once again includes a focus on mental health among workers, including issues like substance abuse or depression and less noticeable things like prolonged stress, anxiety, financial concerns or tension with a family member that can cause workers to lose focus.
“I’m proud of the work we’ve done to grow this event and share these important messages across the industry,” said Ken Aldridge, Safety Week 2022 chair and Aldridge Electric chairman, in a written statement. “We will offer a variety of resources to give our leaders the tools to create an environment of total safety. This year’s Safety Week will encompass both the seen and unseen aspects of workplace safety.”
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is a signature sponsor of Construction Safety Week for a third year.
“We’re proud to once again be part of this important campaign,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO of the AGC. “Our member companies have a great opportunity to spread the message of safety across the industry.”
Visit OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down page for more information.