Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA is scheduled to organize the 4th edition of the annual ‘National Fall Prevention Stand-Down’ conclave from 8th May till 12th May. OSHA was established by an act of Congress (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Act of 1970) with the overarching objective of ensuring healthy and safe working conditions for the workforce. The enforcement of work safety standards was sought to be achieved by disseminating information about the labor laws, providing training, and offering legal assistance.
The stand-down conference will serve as a perfect setting for both employers and employees engaged in the construction industry to discuss occupational risks, construction safety standards, and norms, and adoption of protective measures. Nearly 33% of deaths and grave injuries that occur in this sector can be attributed to falls and trips while working on the upper reaches of a tall building or skyscraper under construction. Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) a collaborating partner of OSHA for the yearly meeting maintains that over 200 workers die while more than 10,000 hurt themselves grievously after a fall.
Since the staging of the first edition of the ‘National Fall Prevention’ congress, OSHA has been successful in reaching out to more than a million construction laborers. Companies and firms engaged in the commercial segment of the sector participated in the previous editions of stand-downs (for creating awareness about construction safety) in large numbers. On the other hand, employers belonging to the other sectors of the construction industry were ably represented as well. Even organizations involved in other commercial segments of the economy took part in the forums.
One of the objectives of OSHA behind arranging these events is to encourage the participation of small time and residential contractors. Workers employed in this segment of contractors have traditionally been more vulnerable to fatalistic falls leading to death or getting gravely injured. OSHA has joined forces with other associations and organizations for making the holding of the 4th chapter of the stand-down a success. Some of collaborating institutions include NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), NORA (National Occupational Research Agenda), ASSE (American Society of Safety Engineers), NSC (National Safety Council), and the USAF (United States Air Force).
Effective Stand-Down Guidelines
The stand-down is open to participation from any employer or firm engaged in any sector of trade and commerce. The idea (for holding the event and participating in the same) is to take a temporary break from work and congregate to discuss on construction safety issues of workers, the debate on risks related to/with falls, and scrutinize fall prevention equipment. OSHA recommends the following tips in order to make your participation effective and worthwhile:-
- Do your homework well in advance for participation and delegate representatives for organizing the stand-down
- Encourage engineers, architects, small contractors, and subcontractors to participate
- Assessing your fall prevention/protection agenda in order to pin downfall hazards at site, find scientific ways to prevent and/or minimize the chances of fall, organize training programs for workers, and conduct checks of safety equipment
- Develop practical activities and exercise regimens that’ll inspire employees to follow them
- Spread the word (about the stand-down event) amongst employees and egging them on to take part
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