The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is winding down its national Safety Stand Down Week. The effort, which s designed to create an increased awareness on safety issues, is suggested by OSHA in order to set aside a little extra time to teach and train on specific safety issues.
The effort this year focused on fall protection. According to OSHA statistics, 269 of the 775 construction fatalities in 2012 (the most recent years with numbers reported) were caused by falls from elevation. Fall prevention safety standards were also in the top 10 most frequently cited violations of OSHA standards. Falls can happen in a variety of ways, including as a result of failing to tie off, improper use of ladders and scaffolds, unmarked floor openings, and simply things like tripping over extension cords.
OSHA’s efforts to raise awareness are certainly to be applauded. But safety in the workplace should be of the highest priority for all construction companies and owners. Companies that make safety a top priority send employees and clients a strong message that “people come first” and are of the highest priority. Practicing good safety techniques also helps avoid legal trouble and citations from OSHA.
Don’t stop emphasizing safety just because OSHA’s National Safety Stand Down Week ends.