OSHA’s Stand-Down urges contractors to break for fall-prevention talks

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Updated May 8, 2019
A scene from last year’s OSHA safety week Stand-Down.A scene from last year’s OSHA safety week Stand-Down.

The National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction week is underway May 6-10.

The event is sponsored by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to raise awareness about the dangers of falls on construction sites, which claimed the lives of 366 construction workers in 2017. That’s more than one-third of the total 971 construction-related deaths that year, according to OSHA.

“Those deaths were preventable,” OSHA says.

The Stand-Down is a voluntary event designed for employers to talk with workers about fall hazards and fall prevention. Employers are encouraged to call for a break during the day to hold a toolbox talk or similar safety activity, such as equipment inspections, developing rescue plans or discussing job-specific hazards, OSHA says.

OSHA has a variety of resources available to help employers. Those include Suggestions to Prepare for a Successful “Stand-Down” and Highlights from the Past Stand-Downs.

Employers hosting an event that is open to the public can go to OSHA’s Events page to submit the event details and to contact your Regional Stand-Down Coordinator.

Employers will be able to provide feedback about their Stand-Down and download a Certificate of Participation following the Stand-Down.

To share information with OSHA on your Safety Stand-Down activities or to suggest how OSHA can improve future initiatives, email [email protected]. You can also share your Stand-Down story on social media with the hashtag: #StandDown4Safety.


Genie rocks the MEWPs during Stand-Down

Aerial-lift manufacturer Genie is getting involved with the Stand-Down by creating a rock video, as well as offering resources on its website and hosting a webinar on the new ANSI standards for aerial equipment.

Genie hopes to allay confusion about the new standards, designed to improve fall safety in the industry, with a humorous new rock video titled “Big Changes” written by the company’s senior training manager, Scott Owyen, also on lead guitar.

On a more serious note, the company has posted a “Safe Use Plan Guidance” white paper on its website for operating aerial work platforms. Under new ANSI standards, AWPs are now referred to as mobile elevating work platforms, or MEWPs.

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Genie is also hosting a webinar May 10 at 1 p.m. EST in which Owyen will explain how and why the ANSI standards on MEWPs are changing. The webinar will cover equipment design standards, safety use and planning, risk-assessment planning and training. To participate in the webinar, log in at this link..

The ANSI standards, which are scheduled to take effect in December, require automatic safety features be integrated into new MEWPs. Operators must also be trained, as well as platform occupants, supervisors and maintenance personnel.

Genie has more information about the new standards on its website, here.


More safety resources

Dodge Data & Analytics is also offering online resources for contractors to help boost safety and prepare for the Stand-Down: