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Construction accidents: Stand-down for fall prevention underway

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the safety regulations that were most frequently violated and cited in 2017 involved the lack of adequate fall protection. In an effort to limit falls in construction accidents in New York and other states, OSHA organizes the National Safety Stand-down to Prevent Falls at this time every year. The fifth annual event kicked off on May 7.

Stand-downs aim to encourage communication and discussions between employers and employees about safety hazards. It is a time for companies to review safety policies, discuss expectations and set safety goals. It is not uncommon for both workers and employers to become complacent, and this event will serve to remind them all of the potential life-threatening hazards of working at heights.

The safety agency also encourages companies to host demonstrations to show and promote safe practices. Furthermore, companies can arrange hands-on training in recognizing and identifying potential hazards and the proper use of fall protection equipment. Wearing a fall arrest system is of no use of the worker does not understand how it works, and what his or her role is in the effectiveness of the equipment. An uninformed construction worker can suffer severe injuries if the equipment is not used appropriately.

Prevention is an action, which means that saying falls are preventable means some action must take place to prevent them. Until everyone on a construction site understands that they each play a role in preventing falls, construction accidents will continue to occur. Those who do suffer workplace injuries in New York can pursue financial relief through the workers' compensation insurance program. Resources are available to assist with the legal and administrative requirements of the claims process.

Source:, "National OSHA event aims to improve workplace safety", May 3, 2018

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