Falls claim hundreds of lives each year in the U.S. construction industry, which is enough to give it a spot on OSHA’s “Fatal Four” list. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls claimed 338 lives in FY 2018, 34% of all construction deaths that year. 

Most of these falls and fatalities are entirely preventable. For the past six years, OSHA has held an annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls to raise awareness about fall prevention, and by extension, save lives.

Note: OSHA’s Stand-Down to Prevent Falls has been postponed due to COVID-19. Refer to OSHA’s website for updates.

What is a safety stand-down? 

A safety stand-down is time that you voluntarily set aside to address employees about workplace hazards, in this case, fall hazards. A few details: 

  • Any industry can participate. Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, but trades including manufacturing, agriculture, and transportation all have fall hazards on the job site.

    OSHA also notes that leaders in the general industry, U.S. Military, other government participants, unions, employer’s trade associations, institutes, employee interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers, have all participated in past years.

  • No business is too small to participate. It doesn’t matter if you have five employees or five thousand — as long as you can spread knowledge about fall prevention, you can participate.

  • No safety stand-down is exactly like the next. How you choose to facilitate your safety stand-down is entirely up to you. For example, you could set aside a whole or half-day dedicated to fall prevention training, hold daily toolbox talks focused on fall hazards for a week straight, or require your workers to complete an online training module.

Stand-down resources

To help you guide a successful stand-down, we put together a list of resources that will help you engage your workforce. 

Resources for planning your stand-down 

Resources for sharing your stand-down

  • Campaign Poster | English | Spanish  [OSHA]
  • Use the hashtag #StandDown4Safety on social media to share pictures, stories, and more [OSHA]

Resources for facilitating fall prevention training

After your stand-down

Educating yourself and your workforce on fall prevention shouldn’t stop after your stand-down. Here are more resources that will help you learn about, create a plan for, and educate employees on fall prevention.

Resources for learning about and creating a plan for fall prevention 

Resources that help protect employees every day

These resources will get you a long way, but nothing can replace the efficacy of a full fall prevention program. If you need assistance putting together a written program or training your workforce on- or offline, reach out to our health and safety team at (906) 228-5125.