Construction sites are high risk areas, and you would think safety takes top priority at any construction site. However, safety can take a back seat to deadlines. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls are the leading cause of deaths in construction, with over a third of them from just 15 feet or less.
Most accidents in the construction industry are preventable. The National Safety Stand-Down is dedicated to prioritizing safety first at construction sites across the country. Here’s all you need to know about the Safety Stand-Down 2018.
What is the National Safety Stand-Down?
The National Safety Stand-Down 2018 is a voluntary event from May 7-11, 2018 in which employers educated employees about construction site safety. The fifth annual Safety Stand Down has been organized by OSHA, working in partnership with several organizations like the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), and the National Construction Safety Executives (NCSE) among others.
Who can participate?
The National Safety Stand-Down event is open to everyone who wants to participate in making their workplace embrace higher safety standards. Commercial construction companies, highway construction employers, safety equipment manufacturers, and even the U.S. military have all participated in the past.
What happens during the safety stand-down?
There are several ways to contribute to the National Safety Stand-Down. You could have an informal safety meeting called a Toolbox Talk, make rescue plans, conduct safety equipment inspections, or even initiate a discussion on workplace hazards. The underlying principle is to “take a break”, and focus on safety.
How do I get involved?
As a manager, you can plan a stand-down anytime during the second week of March. You can designate someone to coordinate the stand-down and develop presentations or activities that suit your workplace conditions. OSHA has several resources to help you get started.
- Suggestions on how to prepare for a stand-down
- Events page to help you find free events in your area
- Training resources you can use
- Fall protection lesson plan for employers
- Fall protection - safety walkaround checklist
Employers who participate receive a Certificate of Participation once they share feedback about their stand-down.
What can I do to heighten employee safety?
The 63 percent of deaths in the construction industry are due to four causes, called the ‘fatal four’. Based on these, here are some ways in which you can improve site safety in preparation for the National Safety Stand-Down 2018.
1. Falls.Most falls in construction are preventable. Improve site safety with the following steps.
- Add safety harness and line, nets, stair railings
- Ensure basic ladder safety - secure the upper or lower end of ladders, place ladders at the right angle, and inspect ladders at regular
- Avoid work on unfinished scaffolds and do not allow unauthorized personnel to make alterations to scaffolds
2. Struck by object. Suspended objects that come loose, thrown tools, swinging loads, and moving heavy vehicles/equipment are all potentially dangerous. You can prevent fatalities with practical steps like these.
- Ensure employees wear safety gear like goggles, hard hats, and face shields
- Use toe boards, screens, and debris nets
- Keep employees clear of suspended loads and heavy equipment in use
3. Electrocutions. Electrocutions can be prevented. Here are some practical tips.
- Avoid use of damaged electrical tools on your site.
- Ensure metal casing of all electrical tools has been earthed and power supply has an earth leakage circuit breaker.
- Encourage employees to wear Personal Protective Equipment and to report electrical faults immediately.
4. Caught-in between. This happens when a worker’s body part gets caught or crushed between two or more objects on the construction site. You can ensure better safety by following these steps.
- Ensure operators of load shifting machinery like forklifts, bulldozers, trucks and excavators have appropriate training and certificates.
- Double check loads of objects being lifted.
- Train employees on potentially dangerous areas of equipment like the pinch, sheer, wrap and crush points as well as pull-in areas.
Modular construction and construction worker safety
Modular construction is a safer way to build. At Mobile Modular, our safety procedures significantly reduce risks of the fatal four. We are constantly working towards providing and enforcing a safe environment for our employees. Mobile Modular has been in the industry for more than three decades and has developed stringent standards of safety and quality for modular buildings. If you’d like to know more about our modular buildings, request a quote today.