Safety is a non-negotiable aspect of construction, especially in the crane industry where a fall can mean a fatality. Fortunately, these deaths can be prevented by up-to-date precautionary measures designed to keep crane operators and construction workers safe.
However, there is still a need for awareness of fall prevention as falls are not eradicated from the industry. During the span from 2011 to 2017, the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries reported 297 total crane-related deaths, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In order to prevent future fatalities in the construction industry as a whole, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) calls upon the construction community to participate in a National Safety Stand-Down. This call to action is to bring awareness to common fall hazards and steps to fall prevention.
In a press release, OSHA announced The National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction will be hosted May 3-7, 2021. This week-long initiative asks employers to take a break from daily work activities and communicate directly with employees about safety on the job, allowing for companies to go over important fall hazards.
“Workers suffer serious and fatal injuries from falls and have a devastating impact on families and businesses,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health James Frederick. “This important collaboration with the construction industry encourages employers to learn how to better control fall-related hazards and improve their safety and health programs.”
Through this initiative, OSHA aims to bring a spotlight on common daily practices that employers can implement in reducing the risk of fatal falls. It is also a moment to go over other job hazards, such as protective measure, company safety policies and how to handle hazards that workers may encounter.
The initiative, founded in 2014, is open to the community for anyone that wants to prevent hazards in the workplace. In the past seven years, companies of all sizes and industries, such as commercial construction, residential construction, sub-and independent contractors and highway construction works, participated.
The program even garnered attention from the U.S. Military, employer’s trade associations and safety equipment manufacturers. This year, it is a moment for crane operators to take a step back and analyze ways to prevent falls in their neck of the woods.
Crane operators, and construction workers on sites with these machines are encouraged to talk about safety equipment inspections, rescue plans or job hazards that arise during a shift. This important discussion, and refresher, can mean avoiding a fatal catastrophe.
To learn more about the National Safety Stand-Down for Fall Prevention, visit https://www.osha.gov/stop-falls-stand-down