The following article was provided by Safety Solution Consultants. It is posted here with permission.
What is a Safety Stand Down? Simply put, it is a pause at sometime during the work-day to allow management, safety, supervisors, or a combination of all of the above, to discuss an important safety and health topic.
A stand down serves as a special emphasis to the current safety and health activities at your workplace.
OSHA has requested employers consider holding a voluntary Safety Stand Down for employees anytime during the week of May 2-6, 2022.
While OSHA has focused on falls in construction this year, the topic is relatable to all industries: Falls in the Workplace.
A Safety Stand Down is a good way for you and your internal team to focus on a particular site-specific hazard or potential risk for injury within your workplace, and perform activities around that risk that stand out.
This is an effective way to raise awareness by employees of the hazard(s) and how to mitigate the risk.
Some tips and strategies for holding a Safety Stand Down are as follows.
- Don’t wait until an incident or accident to consider a Stand Down. It can be used to add emphasis to situations or conditions at any time.
- Keep the Stand Down short and to the point and allow for interaction.
- Have a call to action. This can also be referred to as an education to action. For example, “as a result of the Stand Down, we are expecting that you check your work areas for fall or trip hazards and fix or report them immediately.”
- Define areas of significant risk in your workplace. These might be topics for a Stand Down.
Stand Downs, while typically used for focus or emphasis on a specific risk, can also be used for items such as employee mindset. A common topic that can be used is Is Your Mind in the Game?
In the manufacturing and related industries, the leading causes of injury based on the 2020 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index are as follows:
- Overexertion/back injuries
- Falls on the same level (trips/slips)
- Struck by object or equipment
- Caught in equipment or machine (cuts/lacerations)
Now that you have been educated about what a Safety Stand Down is, it might be a good time to check your calendar and determine when you and your team will hold one.
About the author: Milton Jacobs is the president of Safety Solution Consultants, Inc. and a certified safety professional, who holds a master’s degree in public health.