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For immediate release: May 8, 2017

Ohio safety stand-downs focus on preventing falls in the construction industry

The National Safety Stand-Down runs May 8-12

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) will join the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls by sponsoring two no-cost fall protection training courses this week focusing on safety in the construction industry.

Construction is the leading industry for falls in Ohio, accounting for more than 30 percent of all fall claims filed with BWC and 1/3 of all falls from elevation. Falls in Ohio resulted in 14 fatalities in 2014.

"Construction work presents many dangers, and falls are a particular concern because even falls from short distances can be devastating, if not deadly," said BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison. "Proper training and awareness education are our best defense against falls and all injuries that endanger the lives of Ohio construction workers."

BWC is sponsoring stand-down events in two locations - one at Boak and Sons, Inc. in Austintown on Wednesday and the other in the Columbus area on Friday at the Ohio Center for Occupational Safety and Health in Pickerington. Register for the Columbus event here and contact BWC's Dave Costantino to register for the Austintown event. Visit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Stand-Down events page for a list of more Ohio events.

BWC will also participate in numerous stand-down events across the state, as well as join the Ohio Department of Transportation for stand-downs at four major highway bridge construction sites around the state. Work will pause at these sites to discuss safety and fall protection with staff.

Safety experts at BWC’s Division of Safety and Hygiene encourage routine training and discussion about fall prevention, and suggest the following tips to prevent fall accidents:

  • Wear a harness and always stay connected.
  • Make sure harnesses fit.
  • Inspect all fall protection equipment before use.
  • Don’t use defective equipment.
  • Guard or cover all holes, openings and sky¬lights.
  • Use guardrails or lifelines.
  • Keep work areas well lit.
  • Establish good housekeeping practices.
  • Plan ahead to get the job done safely.
  • Provide the right equipment.
  • Train everyone to use the equipment safely.
More tips and requirements are available here.

Visit BWC's Division of Safety & Hygiene website to learn more about the stand-down, free safety consultations, grants, and education and training. The BWC Library offers an extensive collection of audiovisual materials related to fall hazards and fall prevention.

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