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OSHA program highlights education about workplace safety

A national project is aiming to eliminate construction worker injuries in Pennsylvania and across the country. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is holding its sixth annual National Safety Stand-Down against construction falls from May 6-10, 2019. The project focuses on falls because they continue to pose a serious threat to construction worker safety. In 2016, 891 construction workers lost their lives due to workplace accidents. Of those, 370 were related to falls from heights. OSHA emphasizes that all of these deaths are preventable.

This voluntary event encourages construction workers to talk to workers about safety issues and workplace accidents. OSHA suggests using breaks to educate workers about the importance of fall prevention and places at a worksite that may pose risks for falling. In addition, these sessions can provide an opportunity for employees to raise concerns about hazards they have encountered in the workplace. The program typically includes a wide range of employers and other parties in the industry, including commercial and residential construction firms, contractors and subcontractors, highway construction companies, public works departments, unions and trade associations.

OSHA suggests companies mark the week with safety activities or toolbox talks. For example, they could discuss job hazards, promote rescue plans or inspect safety equipment. In addition, the federal agency promotes open public events taking place during the week focusing on workplace safety in construction.

While programs like this aim to raise awareness about safety hazards, many workers face severe safety violations in the workplace on a daily basis. As a result, too many construction workers suffer catastrophic injuries that may prevent them from returning to the job. A workers' compensation lawyer can help injured employees to protect their rights and seek compensation for harms caused by dangerous violations.

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