Safety Always: 2018 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction
ESI Construction hosted its third annual Safety Stand Down today on the Morrison Center surface lot adjacent to the new BSU Center for Fine Arts construction site. The event is part of OSHA’s National Safety Stand Down week, a nationwide campaign to remind and educate employers and workers in the construction industry of the serious dangers of falls. Falls are the industry’s #1 cause of death.
ESI and the OSHA Consultation Program hope to help reach OSHA’s national goal of 5 million participants. The event included an estimated 450 workers and staff in attendance. In addition, ESI invited the students and staff of BSU’s Construction Management program and representatives from the OSHA Consultation Program at Boise State University.
The percentage of construction industry deaths from falls has trended upward to 37.3 percent (370 out of 991 total deaths) in 2016 (BLS data). Surprisingly, more than one third of fatal falls were from 15 feet or less. Fall protection safety standards were among the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards in 2014.
“Safety is a very serious matter at ESI. We are very intentional with our training and accountability programs,” says Neil Nelson, President of Engineered Structures, Inc. ”At the end of the day, we want to ensure our most valued assets, our people and our partners’ people, are equipped with the knowledge and training to get home safely to their families after work. We’re excited to share our best practices with our teaming partners. Events like the Stand-Down make this possible.”
During the event, ESI workers and trade partners took a break from their work day to discuss fall protection. Boise Area OSHA director David Kearns spoke followed by BSU head football coach Bryan Harsin, who gave a brief motivational speech. Mike Christie of Boise Rigging Supply conducted fall prevention demonstrations focusing on the impact experienced during a fall using test dummies donated by the Boise and the Meridian Fire Departments.
ESI has a strong safety culture and has been recognized for their emphasis on worker safety in the past. Recently, ESI swept the safety category in Engineering News-Record’s regional awards, receiving ENR’s Mountain States Best Project: Excellence in Safety Award for City Center Plaza as well as an Award of Merit: Excellence in Safety for the Inn at 500, both projects located in downtown Boise.
In cooperation with BSU’s OSHA consultation program, ESI hosted its first Stand-Down event in 2016 which brought nearly 400 workers to the Grove Plaza in downtown Boise. Last year, another 200 workers gathered in Meridian for ESI’s second Stand-Down event.
For more details and to learn more about the National Safety Stand-Down, visit the Federal OSHA site at osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown.