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May event about fall safety in the construction industry

Those involved in the construction industry in Minnesota are encouraged to take part in the second Fall Safety Stand-Down event at the beginning of May. This effort aims to bring awareness to the dangers of falls, which cause the most deaths in the construction sector, and workers can use this event to learn about preventing fatalities and the thousands of annual injuries falls cause.

Agencies like the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health organize and promote this event, and NIOSH is concerned about falls in the workplace because they are largely preventable. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the most common violation in the construction industry is lack of fall protection.

Fall Safety Stand-Down takes place between May 4 and May 15, and construction sites are instructed to use this time teaching workers and employers about how falls can be avoided and to recognize the hazards that may lead to a fall. Groups including safety agencies, employers and civic and faith-based organizations across the nation are scheduling trainings, discussions and demonstrations during the event. The previous event was a success as almost 5,000 stand-downs took place, and more than 1 million people involved in the construction industry participated. Additionally, other national safety events occur around the beginning of May, so all these efforts are expected to highlight the importance of applying safe work practices.

While many falls in the construction industry are preventable, it usually does not matter why an accident occurred when an injured worker is seeking workers' compensation benefits. These benefits offer temporary or permanent assistance when an employee can no longer work after suffering an on the job injury. Receiving enough benefits to cover the cost of an injury is sometimes difficult, so a worker may wish to consult an attorney after an accident occurs.

Source: EHS Today, "Stand Tall, Stand Proud, Stand-Down for Fall Safety", Feb. 18, 2015

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