According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report released today, fatal work-related falls to a lower level increased 26 percent from 2011 to 2016. There were 553 fatal falls to lower level in 2011 and 697 in 2016. The number of fatal falls to a lower level increased each year in this period except for 2015. Over the 6-year period, there were 3,723 fatal falls to a lower level.
This week marks OSHA's National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction event (May 7–11), an excellent time to talk directly with workers about fall hazards and best safety practices.
Most of the increase in fatal falls to a lower level occurred in the private construction industry. Fatal falls to a lower level in private construction increased from 255 in 2011 to 370 in 2016, a 45-percent increase. In all other industries combined, the increase was 10 percent. Over the 6-year period, more than half the fatal falls to a lower level occurred in the private construction.
Companies can conduct a Safety Stand-Down by taking a break to have a toolbox talk or another safety activity such as conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job specific hazards. Managers are encouraged to plan a stand-down that works best for their workplace anytime May 7-11, 2018. OSHA offers Suggestions to Prepare for a Successful "Stand-Down" and hosts an events page that are free and open to the public to help employers and employees find events in your area.