May 2 – 6, 2022

Did you know that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), along with its partners, raises awareness of fall hazards through an annual effort? The National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, part of a National Campaign, is an opportunity for employers and workers to pause on the job and together plan to prevent falls in the workplace. This year, the Stand-Down takes place May 2-6.

Falls from elevations are the most common cause of death for construction workers and are entirely preventable. In 2020, there were over 350 fatal fall deaths on construction sites, accounting for 34% of all construction fatalities.

“Falls remain the leading cause of work-related deaths in construction, accounting for one-third of all on-the-job deaths in the industry,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “Employers can set aside time on the job to reinforce the knowledge, training and resources that are available for creating safer workplaces and preventing fatalities and injuries related to falls.”

infographic preview of snapshot of all fatal falls in construction, 2019

Employers can participate in the Stand-Down by providing a toolbox talk on a safety topic such as roofing, ladder, or scaffold safety, or by conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, watching safety videos, or discussing hazards.

Materials are available in English and Spanish to help employers plan, provide, and train:

“The construction industry is a cornerstone of our nation’s growth and infrastructure, but unfortunately, falls continue to be the leading cause of fatal injuries in construction, with Hispanic/Latino workers at 30% higher risk of suffering serious and fatal injuries from falls,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Douglas Parker. “All workers, regardless of background, ethnicity, or language, should be provided proper training and equipment to prevent falls. This collaboration with industry focuses on helping employers to learn how to better control fall-related hazards and improve their safety and health programs.”

NIOSH has worked with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Construction Sector Council, and CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, to develop and promote this Stand-Down. Thousands of companies and millions of employees have participated across all 50 states and internationally, since the first Stand-Down in 2014.

“Construction employment is projected to grow 4.4% between 2020 to 2030 and we expect to see big increases in certain types of construction in the near future due to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” said Chris Trahan Cain, executive director of CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.  “More construction means more workers exposed to work at heights – the number one cause of workplace death in our industry. The Stand-Down is a crucial piece of the work of educating owners, employers, and their employees – especially those that are new to construction – about the steps to take to make sure each worker goes home safe at the end of every day.”

Virtual events are free and open to the public through OSHA’s events page. Partners and employers are also encouraged to promote the event by using the #StandDown4Safety on social media. Participation in the Stand-Down is not limited to the construction industry, and no business is too small to participate.

NIOSH is the federal institute that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. For more information about NIOSH visit www.cdc.gov/niosh.

COURTESY OF CDC, NIOSH: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/updates/upd-04-27-22.html

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