Every day, nearly 2,000 people are injured using ladders. Many of these mishaps occur from overreaching for an object or missing the last step when climbing down.
It is critical for workers to understand the common mistakes that lead to fall-related injures. Builders and trade contractors should take every opportunity to educate—and continually re-educate—their crews about safety.
From May 8-12, thousands of construction companies and other businesses will be raising awareness about fall prevention by participating in the fourth annual National Safety Stand-Down. Builders are asked to stop work for at least 15 minutes during any day this week to talk directly with their workers about fall hazards and to reinforce the importance of fall protection on the jobsite.
This year, NAHB is focusing on ladder safety, which OSHA ranked as the third-most frequently cited safety violation in 2016.
For the third year in a row, Carl Harris, co-founder of Carl Harris Co., Inc. in Wichita, Kan., will be participating in the stand-down. Though he typically includes a safety component during his weekly meetings with employees, he says this week is a special opportunity to zero in on key issues.
“We’ve built a strong culture of safety over the years, and this [week-long initiative] continues to be a valuable part of our business strategy,” Harris said. “Plus, it’s great when our guys see that we’re unified with countless other contractors who are highly focused on safety.”
To further emphasize fall prevention to his employees, Harris has asked his crews to take part in safety “toolbox talks” on site for 20 minutes each day this week.
“Contractors need to realize their No. 1 investment is their labor force, and protecting them is an investment that pays off,” Harris said. “When [an employee] sees that their employer cares about their health and is committed to ensuring their safety, it gives them even more motivation to give maximum effort.”
More information about the National Safety Stand-Down, including training guides, videos and step-by-step resources on how to conduct your own stand-down are available at nahb.org/safetystanddown.