By Vogel Bros. Safety Department
Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for approximately 40% of construction fatalities recorded in 2017. OSHA developed the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction program in an effort to raise fall hazard awareness, curb this statistic, and stop fall-related fatalities and injuries. Since its inception in 2012, the annual National Safety Stand-Down has reached thousands of employers and over a million workers nationwide.
Vogel Bros. Building Co. believes that all jobsite accidents are preventable. Training and education are at the foundation of this belief, which is why we recently participated in the 2019 National Safety Stand-Down by pausing normal work operations to focus on fall-related hazards. Key topics we focused on this year were:
- Ladder Safety – In addition to demonstrating how to inspect and properly use ladders, we educated workers on free ladder resources, such as the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) free Ladder Safety App, a video that demonstrates how to use the app and pointers for safely using ladders, and the American Ladder Institute’s website full of reference material.
- Fall Protection / Personal Fall Arrest Systems – We reviewed educational materials from the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), including detailed information on Personal Fall Arrest Systems.
- Scaffolding Safety – Scaffolds can be a safer and more productive way to work than ladders IF they’re set up correctly. So workers were reminded that OSHA has a free eTool on Scaffolding that they can access at any time. And the Job-Site Safety Institute has a great video that covers essential scaffolding safety tips.
By sharing real life statistics, equipping our craft workers with tools and resources to access safety information, and carrying out live safety demonstrations on job sites, our employees were reminded that their actions make a difference and that safety on the jobsite is everyone’s responsibility. Moving forward, they will be able to apply the lessons that they learned and continue to work towards eliminating all jobsite accidents.