A Safety Stand-Down is an event in the workplace designed to promote fall prevention in the construction industry by identifying fall hazards and ways that fall safety can be improved. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a goal in 2015 for more than 20,000 Stand-Downs with more than 3 million workers participating. Stand-Downs are completely voluntary, but they can make a big difference in workplace safety. And, while the National Fall Prevention Stand-Down is aimed at preventing construction falls, fall prevention is an important issue in many industries.
Planning Your Stand-Down
Each workplace is different, and the most successful safety events are those that are tailored to serve your unique needs. A Stand-Down can take place during a break or lunch hour, or may fit best at another time.
Review your current slip and fall prevention program. Your Stand-Down should cover your existing policies and seek feedback on possible improvements. Open communication and feedback from workers is the key to a successful safety event.
You should definitely cover the hazards that exist in your workplace and how to avoid slip and fall injuries. Again, ask for feedback. Does anyone have a fall hazard to add to the list or a safety practice that would make falls less likely in your workplace?
Making it Attractive and Effective
Make your Stand-Down an event that workers will want to attend and will feel can truly benefit them. Snacks and beverages are always a plus. You may want to include activities such as a walk-through of the workplace where workers can point out and discuss specific hazards and concerns. Hands-on inspections of existing equipment can be included. And at every point, ask your workers, “How can this be improved? How can we make fall-prevention compliance easier for you?”
A successful Stand-Down meeting may make the difference between you and a workplace or construction site accident claim.
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