National Safety Stand-Down: Preventing Falls, Reducing Workers’ Comp Claims


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), falls from height remain the top cause of death for construction workers, accounting for 395 of the 1,069 fatalities documented in 2022. Falls from heights can occur due to lack or inappropriate use of safety equipment. Harnesses, guardrails, and safety nets are all necessary for adequate fall protection. Falls can occur as a result of worn harness straps, malfunctioning harness buckles, harnesses that do not fit the worker’s size or weight, loose or faulty hooks and rings on harnesses, improperly constructed guardrails on scaffolding, scaffolding collapse, and improper rigging of safety nets.

National Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event organized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to raise fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries in the construction industry. This year, the event takes place May 6-10.

What Is a Safety Stand Down?

A Safety Stand-Down is designed to carve out a specific time for employers to speak directly to employees about safety. Any business can hold a stand-down by pausing to concentrate on fall hazards and emphasizing the need for fall prevention.

Construction firms can hold a Safety Stand-Down by taking a break to have a toolbox talk or another safety activity, such as inspecting safety equipment, devising rescue plans, or reviewing job-specific dangers. Managers are invited to schedule a stand-down at any time convenient for their workplace. OSHA also has an “events page“ where companies and employees can find free and open-to-the-public events in their area.

OSHA’s Stand-Down is open to everyone who wishes to help prevent workplace risks. In previous years, participants included commercial construction companies of all sizes, residential construction contractors, subcontractors and independent contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, the United States military, other government participants, unions, employer trade associations, institutes, employee interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers.

Employers can download a certificate of participation (English and Spanish) following the Safety Stand-Down.

According to the OSHA website, the agency is collaborating with key groups to assist with this effort, including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), OSHA-approved state plans, state consultation programs, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), the National Safety Council, the National Construction Safety Executives (NCSE), the United States Air Force, and the OSHA Training.

In addition to using a Safety Stand-Down to reinforce safety activity and prevent fall injuries, construction firms participating in this event and undertaking other ongoing risk-management strategies can lower their Workers’ Compensation costs. Fall-prevention measures reduce on-the-job injuries and claims, improve your loss experience and risk profile, enhance worker morale, and, ultimately, can lower your premium.


Source: OSHA