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National Stand-Down for Safety Week: What It Is and How Your Company Can Participate

OSHA statistics show an average of around five thousand U.S based work fatalities per year. To put that in perspective, that’s about 100 deaths per week, or 15 a day.

That means, approximately every hour and a half, a construction company owner or manager has to call their employees’ family and explain that their loved one won’t be coming home from work that day. That is a call you never want to have to make and you definitely don’t want to receive.

The number one cause of these construction fatalities, year after year, after year, is falls.

What is National Safety Stand Down Week?

May 3 – 7 2021 is National Safety Stand-Down Week to prevent Falls in Construction and is hosted by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR).
The week is aimed at raising fall hazard awareness across the country, in an effort to stop injuries and fatalities caused when working at heights.

What Can Your Company Do To Help the Cause?

It doesn’t matter how big your construction company is, what trade you are in or what your role is within your company, everyone can and SHOULD get involved. You can participate in three ways:

1. Educate Your Workers by Hosting a “Stand-Down”

A Stand-Down is a conversation between the employer, or upper management and their workers. It is a chance to talk about safety and this week, specifically fall prevention.
Dr. Maya Angelo famously said “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better”. As the employer, you should take this opportunity to make sure your employees “know better”.

A great way to accomplish that is to start the stand-down with a Toolbox Talk, refreshing your employees knowledge of proper means of protecting themselves from falls.

This more formal training should be followed by an informal conversation, allowing ample opportunity for workers to ask questions and address any safety concerns they may have.

2. Help Bring Awareness to the Cause

You can help bring awareness to the fact that falls are killing construction workers on a daily basis by capturing a picture of your team during your Stand-Down and posting it on your social media accounts.

In the caption, include how your company is committed to the safety of your employees. Encourage your employees to do the same on their personal accounts and use the hashtag #StandDown4Safety

3. Follow Through on Your Commitment to Safety

Hosting a Stand-Down and bringing awareness to the cause is a fantastic start but to really make a difference, safety needs to be incorporated into the culture of your company. It’s hard to know where to start with that, but luckily you are on the right track.
The Learning Center on our website is filled with valuable information for all construction companies, of all sizes and trades. It’s free for anyone to access and share with their teams. It is a fantastic resource to help you “know better” so you can follow through on your commitment to “do better”.

What Harness is Doing to Help the Cause

We’re launching several things in conjunction with National Safety Week:

  • As previously announced, We are making a version of the Harness safety app available for FREE. The free plan includes access to hundreds of toolbox talks, including twelve focused specifically on fall protection. It allows you to document attendance on any device.
  • In order to promote the best practice of inspecting fall protection harnesses before each use, we will be launching another FREE inspections app. More details will be available on Monday May 3rd.
  • We’ll be offering FREE, no obligation evaluations of your Safety Program so you can identify areas for improvement and get valuable tips.

Make sure you are following us on Social Media so you don’t miss out on these announcements!

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By Sue Drummond

Sue Drummond knows that learning new technology can be intimidating and overwhelming sometimes. That's exactly why her role at Harness Software is to teach, guide and customize the fear away. Together with our clients, she sets project priorities, exchanges resources and shares best practices, all in an effort to achieve happier and healthier employees and safer job sites.