With the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) second National Fall Prevention Stand-Down (May 4-15, 2015) underway, you may be tempted to think that a Stand-Down is only really necessary for the construction industry.
It makes sense, considering falls from elevation continue to be one of the leading causes of death for construction workers.
However, though OSHA’s #StandDown4Safety is technically to raise awareness of preventing fall hazards in construction, fall safety should be a priority in every industry. And, because fall safety is an important topic for every workplace, don’t you think every workplace in every industry should consider holding their own Stand-Down for fall safety?
We definitely think so.
Take our partner, OSHAcademy, for instance. OSHAcademy is very involved in occupational safety and health and provides online safety training to individuals worldwide. However, all of OSHAcademy’s employees work in an office setting. Though the company is well aware that OSHA’s Stand-Down for Fall Safety is primarily focused on the construction industry, OSHAcademy decided to conduct their own version of a Stand-Down that focuses on fall safety in office settings.
Why did OSHAcademy decide to conduct a Stand-Down if they aren’t working from heights or on scaffolding and ladders each day?
Because, other than the fact that the company believes fall safety is important in every industry, they are also aware of some shocking statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about falls in the office, including:
- Falling down is not only the most common office accident, it is also responsible for causing the most disabling injuries.
- Office workers are 2 to 2.5 times more likely to suffer a disabling injury from a fall than non-office workers.
- The most common causes of office falls are:
- tripping over an open desk or file drawer, electrical cords or wires, loose carpeting, or objects in hallways/walkways
- bending or reaching for something while seated in an unstable chair
- using a chair in place of a ladder
- slipping on wet floors
- inadequate lighting
Even if you don’t work in an office, falls are a persistent hazard found in all occupational settings, including healthcare, wholesale, retail, and more.
We hope you now see the importance of conducting a Stand-Down for fall safety and advocate for conducting one in your workplace. For tips on holding a successful Stand-Down, read this article or visit OSHA’s website for more information.
Is your workplace holding a Fall Safety Stand-Down? What was your experience like and what worked well? Comment below or join our forum conversation!