OSHA has issued the call for a voluntary safety stand down June 2-6. Read about it here: https://www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown/.
The idea is simple. It calls on contractors to hold a toolbox talk related to the dangers of falls in construction. While I may not be the biggest fan of all things OSHA, I do believe its focus on fall protection is well placed and its idea of a national safety stand down has merit.
Taking 15-30 minutes to give your crews a break to share your experiences with them (and let them speak about theirs) is a good thing, and I hope you seriously consider making the effort.
A few of the reasons I like this:
• We can all do better in the area of fall prevention.
• There are few ways you can visibly demonstrate to your employees that you truly care about their wellbeing. Taking the time to stop production (and perhaps provide some refreshments) speaks volumes as to the importance of the topic.
• Having the boss show up on a job when he or she might otherwise not be expected sends a clear message as well: “You are important to me, and fall prevention must be important to all of us.”
• Every time we take the time to train on fall prevention, the message becomes clearer, and the odds for injury or death from a fall go down.
• There are plenty of risks in roofing and construction. Risks from falls are frequently preventable, and it is up to all of us to make every good-faith attempt at improving on our record where it relates to falls.
• This is one of those “low-cost, high-return” investments. You will feel good about it, too.
I hope it does not surprise you that I support this initiative by OSHA. I have marked 2014 as the year I spend talking about fall prevention, so expect more.