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MIOSHA and Michigan Construction Companies Raise Awareness of Fall Hazards in Construction
April 28, 2023
National Safety Stand-Down Week, May 1-5, Aims to Prevent Falls in Construction
LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) will meet with construction companies across the state to raise awareness to the hazard of falls during OSHA’s national campaign to prevent falls in construction during National Safety Stand-Down Week (May 1-5).
“Whether it’s a fall to a lower level or a slip, trip or fall on the same level, all falls are preventable,” MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman said. We are standing down with employers across the state this week to speak directly to employees about fall safety. We urge all employers, this week and beyond, to take the time to hit pause and talk candidly with their teams about common fall hazards in the workplace and how to prevent them.”
MIOSHA will participate in nearly a dozen events during the week with construction partners who will voluntary stop work to focus on fall hazard awareness, including at the site of the I-496 rebuilding project in Lansing, a MIOSHA Partnership Project, Monday. Walsh Construction Co. II is overseeing construction on the $80-million interstate project, set to complete in Fall 2023
"As a heavy civil contractor dealing with a number of complex and potentially hazardous roadway situations, we place special emphasis on safety week in order to provide our workers with insight and additional knowledge on topics we hope can be applied to their everyday lives,” Walsh Construction Co. II safety manager Jackson Rumph said.
Eleven Michigan workers died on the job as a result from a fall in 2022. Falls of workers in the construction and tree trimming industry were cited as the second leading cause of death in Michigan’s 43 workplace fatalities in 2022.
Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 38% of the 986 construction fatalities recorded nationwide in 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
MIOSHA is reminding all Michigan employers of their duty to protect employees from fall hazards. Workers who are six feet or more above lower levels are at risk of serious injury or death if they should fall. To ensure safety, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including proper ladders, scaffolds and safety gear.
Employers are encouraged to host annual Safety Stand-Down events in the workplace to offer both new and refresher training, a safe space for workers to ask questions, and safety information and engaging dialogue about:
- Fall hazards, such as holes or skylights
- Training on proper set-up and safe use of equipment
- Protective methods, including guardrail systems and fall protection harnesses
- Company safety policies and goals
For help identifying fall hazards or providing the right safety equipment or training, MIOSHA provides free consultative assistance at www.michigan.gov/cetrca.
For more information on fall prevention and workplace safety requirements in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/miosha.
For federal OSHA resources or more information on how to hold your own safety stand-down, visit www.osha.gov/preventfalls.