The Stand-Down was conceived by OSHA in 2014 as part of the National Falls Campaign to raise awareness surrounding the severity of fall hazards in construction and the importance of preventing them.
In a construction setting, the term “safety stand-down” is used to describe a wide variety of activities where normal work is paused and the entire site focuses on a particular safety issue. While some employers may use stand-downs to call attention to specific hazards present on their site as an intervention, the campaign has adopted the use of the stand-down to draw attention to fall hazards in a nation-wide weeklong event.
It’s an opportunity for employers to pause work and have a conversation with workers about fall hazards, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies, goals and expectations. This should also be an opportunity for workers to talk to management about fall hazards they see.
Who is it for?
Participation began with, but is not limited to the construction industry, and no business is too large or small to participate. In previous years, we’ve had participants in residential construction, commercial construction, industrial construction, mining, general industry, and more.
In fact, the largest single participant in 2015 and 2016 was the United States Air Force, reaching more than one million military and civilian personnel. Also, nearly half of certificates for participation completed through OSHA’s website were for Stand-Downs with less than 25 workers.
Why should I join in?
Falls are a leading cause of death for workers, accounting for 350 of the 937 construction fatalities and 648 of the 4,836 fatalities in all industries recorded in 2015 (BLS data). But they are also preventable! Hazard elimination, proper training, and use of fall protection can change these numbers.
When can I participate?
The 2019 Stand-Down will take place May 6-10. During this week, major campaign partners will be providing resources and hosting stand-down events across the nation and internationally, but participation is encouraged year-round!
Over the last few years, thousands of companies held their own stand-downs, reaching millions of workers across all 50 states and internationally! In 2017 over 150 public events were also held across the country. You can organize your own stand-down on your jobsite(s), join with others in your area to hold an event, or check out a list of regional events open to the public at www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown/calendar.html.