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Marking 10 Years of Preventing Falls by “Standing Down” at Work

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for nearly 40 percent of the construction fatalities recorded in 2021. Those deaths were preventable, and this statistic highlights the need for ongoing efforts to raise awareness of potential fall hazards and preventative measures.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in an effort to raise awareness of potential fall hazards in the workplace, holds a National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction week annually. The purpose of this week is to encourage employers to discuss workplace safety protocols with their employees. This year’s Stand-Down week – taking place May 1-5 – marks the 10th year of this campaign.

The ACC-OSHA Alliance is a voluntary collaborative relationship among the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI), Diisocyanates Panel (DII), and Aliphatic Diisocyanates (ADI) Panel, and OSHA. Safety is a top priority for ACC and OSHA, and the Alliance works to foster safer and healthier American workplaces.

The ACC-OSHA Alliance provides employers, workers, and other stakeholders within the polyurethanes value chain with information, guidance, and access to training resources to help protect the health and safety of workers. The polyurethane value chain is broad and encompasses many sectors such as the construction industry – including roofing and insulation.

A strong safety culture is important to ACC and its members. As such, ACC is supporting OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction week to help raise awareness of the importance of recognizing and preventing potential fall hazards at worksites. We encourage our member companies to join our efforts to promote safety in the workplace.

What Exactly Is a Safety Stand-Down?

National Safety Stand-Down week is an opportunity for employers to engage with their workers about training, workplace hazards, preventative measures, and the company’s safety policies and expectations. Though Safety Stand-Down week has an emphasis on fall prevention in the construction industry, participation is not limited to construction employers or conversations solely on fall prevention. Employers from all industries and of all sizes are encouraged to have a dialogue with their workers regarding workplace safety.

How Can Your Company Prepare for a Safety Stand-Down?

Safety Stand-Downs come in many forms, including safety equipment inspections, rescue plan development, and toolbox talks. OSHA has helpful resources and suggestions, in both English and Spanish, on how to prepare for and facilitate a successful Safety Stand-Down.

A first step for crafting a successful Safety Stand-Down is to review your company’s current fall prevention program. This review can help you determine whether your current program could be revised to meet your company’s expectations.

In order to build an engaging dialogue on safety, the stand-down should be positive and interactive. Determine a suitable delivery method, such as a webinar or toolbox talk, and a time frame to maximize information sharing and retention as well as encourage participation.

ACC Members Remain Committed to Worker Safety

The ACC OSHA Alliance is dedicated to enhancing worker safety through the dissemination of resources, information, guidance, and training on workplace safety to member companies and stakeholders throughout the polyurethanes value chain.

Companies that are ACC members are required to participate in Responsible Care®, the chemical industry’s world-class environmental, health, safety and security performance initiative. As a part of the program, companies annually report their progress on a variety of process safety-related performance measures, which ACC makes available to the public online. Companies that participate in Responsible Care® have employee safety records nearly five times better than the U.S. manufacturing sector and almost three times better than the U.S. business of chemistry overall.

Follow along on ACC Twitter (@AmChemistry) and ACC LinkedIn, where throughout the week, ACC will be sharing tips and resources on how to help protect workers from fall hazards. Also, make sure to share your stand-down story on social media with the hashtag #StandDown4Safety.

About the Author
American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council’s mission is to advocate for the people, policy, and products of chemistry that make the United States the global leader in innovation and manufacturing. To achieve this, we: Champion science-based policy solutions across all levels of government; Drive continuous performance improvement to protect employees and communities through Responsible Care®; Foster the development of sustainability practices throughout ACC member companies; and Communicate authentically with communities about challenges and solutions for a safer, healthier and more sustainable way of life. Our vision is a world made better by chemistry, where people live happier, healthier, and more prosperous lives, safely and sustainably—for generations to come.

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