Atlas Encourages Participation in National Safety Stand-Down To Prevent Falls in Construction

May 2nd, 2016

Atlas Roofing is proud to support the National Fall Prevention Stand-Down, sponsored by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). which starts Monday, May 2 and runs through Friday, May 6. The purpose of the Stand-Down is to raise awareness of conditions and hazards that contribute to falls on construction sites. Atlas encourages its contractors and crews to participate in this annual observance that addresses an issue crucial to the construction industry.

Falls from heights are the leading cause of injury and deaths on construction sites, according to OSHA.

In honor of the Stand-Down, Atlas is hosting an online contest. Contractors participating in the Stand-Down can post photos showing how they and their crews are practicing safety on the jobsite. All photos will be automatically entered into a drawing for a 3M Safety Bucket equipped with roofing essentials, and an Atlas Protects umbrella. Two winners will be chosen in a random drawing and announced on May 9.

Last year’s successful Stand-Down reached more than 2.5 million construction workers. OSHA’s goal for this year is 5 million workers, which represents more than half of the construction workers in the country.

The Stand-Down is a voluntary event. Employers are encouraged to talk directly to their workers about safety and reinforce the importance of preventing falls on the job. Companies can conduct a stand-down by taking a break to have a “toolbox talk,” or take part in other activities such as conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans or discussing job-specific hazards.

In 2014, the latest year for which figures are available, falls accounted for 337 of the 874 construction fatalities recorded. Summer is a particularly hazardous time to be up on a roof. To help prevent falling-related injuries and fatalities this season, consider the following:

Personal Tips

Never go onto a roof alone, even if you’re a seasoned roofing veteran. Always have someone with you. In the summer, rain and mildew can make roof decks extra slippery. Use a safety harness with a lanyard anchored to an anchor point. Also consider a rope or cable lifeline system as backup in precarious areas.

Crew Tips

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can contribute to falls. For safety, keep your crew hydrated. Workers should:

    • Take water breaks every 15 to 30 minutes
    • Rest in shade or air conditioning to cool down as needed
    • Wear a hat and light-colored clothing
    • Know heat illness signs and symptoms
    • Report symptoms early and watch out for coworkers
    • Know what to do in an emergency

    Equipment Tips

    Use safety and fastener equipment regularly, especially after summer rains. Hard hats, knee pads, safety glasses, fasteners and wood grips will help keep workers safe on the job.

    Wear proper footwear, especially when summer rains can make roof decks extra slick. Be sure to wear boots or shoes with good tread and rubber soles.

    Always keep ladders a minimum of 10 feet from electrical lines to avoid electrocution. Check them regularly for defects and replace them as necessary. Never carry awkward or heavy loads up ladders.

    For more information on the Stand-Down and how you and your crews can participate, visit OSHA’s website.