OSHA announces national stand-down for fall prevention in construction
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced a national safety stand-down from June 2 to 6 to raise awareness among employers and workers about the hazards of falls, which account for the highest number of deaths in the construction industry. “Falls account for more than a third of all deaths in this industry,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “We’re working with employers, workers, industry groups, state OSH plans, and civic and faith-based organizations to host safety stand-downs that focus on recognizing hazards and preventing falls. We are getting the message out to America’s employers that safety pays and falls cost.” During the stand-down, employers and workers are asked to pause their workday to talk about fall prevention in construction, and discuss topics like ladder safety, scaffolding safety and roofing work safety. OSHA has also launched an official national safety stand-down website with information on how to conduct a successful stand-down. Afterwards, employers will be able to provide feedback and receive a personalized certificate of participation. The stand-down is part of OSHA’s ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign, which was started in 2012 and was developed in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda program. The campaign provides employers with lifesaving information and educational materials on how to plan ahead to prevent falls, provide the right equipment for their workers and train all employees in the proper use of that equipment. “We are pleased to join again with OSHA and our NORA partners to focus on fall prevention at construction sites,” said Dr. John Howard, NIOSH director. “Preventing falls in the construction industry benefits everyone, from the worker, to the employer, to the community at large. This safety stand-down serves as an important opportunity for everyone to take the time to learn how to recognize and prevent fall hazards.” To learn how to partner with OSHA in this stand-down, visit http://www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown/ . The page provides details on how to conduct a stand-down; receive a certificate of participation; and access free education and training resources, fact sheets and other outreach materials in English and Spanish. To learn more about preventing falls in construction visit http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls/ . Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov .
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Boston – In April of 2000, Patrick Griffin , Glenn Narrow and six other local safety professionals met to discuss the Interim Fall Protection Guidelines for Residential Construction in a small conference room within the OSHA office. Through the leadership and guidance of Glenn Narrow and the steering committee this group quickly grew to 47 construction industry safety professionals meeting monthly. Although the alliance was formally signed in June 2003 the CSR-EM group just celebrated their 10th year anniversary which coincided with their 100th meeting at the Wayne J. Griffin Electric training facility in Holliston, MA in April of 2010. CSR-EM Alliance with OSHA has been renewed two times since the signing date and continues to provide up-to-date information, technical assistance, and specialized and general training to enable the construction industry’s employers, employees, and trainees to eliminate and reduce safety and health hazards. The number of companies participating in the Alliance’s roundtable meetings has grown and now includes 150 construction companies and contractors from New Hampshire and Rhode Island in addition to Massachusetts. The Alliance is committed to continuing to its educational goals by offering professional certification point for the meetings and distribution of other training material through the www.CSR-EM.org website.
About 70 representatives of the Construction Safety Roundtable of Eastern Massachusetts member companies, and interested companies, attend Roundtable meetings on the second Tuesday of each month, from September through June. The attendees include safety directors from union and non-union companies, insurance representatives, union apprentice directors, safety consultants, attorneys and the Massachusetts Consultation Service. The Roundtable has a Steering Committee to ensure that, year to year, the Roundtable maintains a high level of excellence.
Through this Alliance, monthly meetings are held and training is shared that has led to the establishment of an excellent working relationship between the Alliance’s participants and OSHA. In addition, the Alliance has strengthened the commitment of Alliance members to focus on safety and health issues on construction sites, increased communication and understanding of the safety and health needs of the companies and their contractors between the construction industry and OSHA and encouraged greater cooperation with OSHA.
During the meetings, Tim Irving, OSHA’s Compliance Assistance Specialist in the Boston South Area Office facilitates the exchange technical information and safe work practices, presents updates on OSHA’s procedures and policy issues and provides instruction on construction safety and health issues. Topics covered in the past 12 months include mast climbing scaffold systems, the Massachusetts Consultation Program, lead, silica, isocyanate, confined space hazards, electrical safety, NFPA 70 E, fall protection, welding and cutting, demolition and other health hazards in construction.