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What Exactly is the National Safety Stand Down?

Construction Worker

I still remember the first fall accident I saw in construction. I was 16 and acting as ground crew on a roofing job. The foreman and owner fell from a high pitch A-frame roof onto another roof below. It wasn't more than five or six feet, but he ended up rupturing his Achilles tendon, went through surgery and then spent a couple months off the work site recovering. His family had to scramble to make things work in the meantime to keep everything rolling with the business. The sad thing is, a simple safety harness would have prevented the injury, but in 1993, that was at the back of his mind.

Falls are the most common fatal accident in construction, accounting for over 37% of all construction fatalities. When the pressure is on and your crew is working hard to get it done, sometimes it's a little too easy to let safety slide. Maybe you have the old saws on your crew who still turn their noses up at some of the safety regulations. Whatever your reason, the National Safety Stand Down gives you an excellent opportunity to bring safety back into focus for your crew. Here are the details.

Construction Safety Equipment

The National Safety Stand Down is an annual week-long event sponsored by OSHA to push fall prevention and awareness. As part of an overall fall prevention campaign begun in 2012, the very first Stand Down held in 2013 had over a million participants, which works out to roughly one in ten construction workers across the country. OSHA directly sponsored 150 events across the U.S., with an additional 5,000 Stand Down events reported to the agency. Only a year later, in 2015, the biggest single organization was the U.S. Air Force, with an astounding 1.5 million participants. An additional 150,000 international participants took place in the event, and 45% of Stand Downs were held by companies with 25 or fewer employees.

This year's Stand Down is being held the second week of May, from the 8th to the 12th. If you want to participate, it doesn't take a lot of work - OSHA even provides some great ideas for what to cover if you don't know where to start. Though OSHA is the headlining agency, other participants include NIOSH, NORA, CPWR, ASSE, NCSE and OTI Educational Centers. Whether you're taking a toolbox break to talk equipment, having lunch over a discussion of fall prevention techniques for the job site or coordinating with OSHA for a large public event to build awareness, it all contributes to improved fall prevention and safety in the industry. There are resources available in a range of languages, videos for your crew to watch and printable signs to build awareness for the event on OSHA's National Safety Stand Down Resource Page.

When it comes to the safety of your crew, the National Safety Stand Down gives you an excellent opportunity to improve the status quo and bring safety back to the foreground of your operation. If you need help finding the perfect safety equipment for your crew, our experienced associates are always happy to help you find the right solution for your job site. Please feel free to contact us today for more details, to get a quote or to schedule a deliver. At Wallboard Supply Company, our job is keeping your job rolling.

OSHA Personal Protective Equipment Quick Card

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Wallboard Supply Company is a third generation, family run business that has been serving New England's building needs since 1970. Bob Filion started the company with a commitment to provide quality drywall and finishing products with unmatched customer service. The company has grown over the years, expanding its' product range, but never wavering from its' core values.