OSHA is promoting a national Safety Stand-Down during the week of June 2-6, 2014 in an effort to raise awareness among employers and workers in the construction industry about the hazards of falls. The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) fully supports the program and strongly encourages all of its member companies to participate in this awareness event.

Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers, accounting for over a third of all construction fatalities recorded in 2012. The majority of those deaths were preventable.

The Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary pause during the workday to allow dedicated time for employers and employees to focus on recognizing hazards and preventing falls. The time can include toolbox or tailgate talks, safety presentations, or discussions on specific topics like ladder safety, scaffolding safety and the proper use of aerial platforms. The meeting provides information to workers about hazards, protective methods, and the company's safety policies, goals and expectations. The program is a part of OSHA’s fall prevention campaign to plan, provide and train—three simple steps to prevent falls. This should be included as part of a Stand-Down discussion.

IPAF’s North American Web site www.awpt.org offers many tools that can be used at a Safety Stand-Down. Under the “Publications & Films” tab, you can find many free downloadable documents. Of specific importance for this Stand-Down, you will find:

  1. Best practice of personal fall protection systems for use with AWPs
  2. Video “Only dummies don’t wear harness on booms”
  3. Best practice on creating workplace risk assessments.

Falls are preventable incidents that you can address when you plan, provide and train. Take this opportunity and join many others in this National Safety Stand-Down. Don’t wait, sign up today, plan your event and improve safety on your work site.

Learn more about the Safety Stand-Down on OSHA Web site www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown/index.html. Managers are encouraged to plan a stand-down that works best for their workplace anytime during the week of June 2-6, 2014.