National OSHA Fall Protection Campaign

  • Published
  • 23d Wing safety office

Falling is the second leading cause of mishap, death, and potential injury to the brain, spinal cord and extremities. In occupational settings, the most common type of mishap is a fall from a height. Factors contributing to this includes: faulty equipment, such as ladders and scaffold structures, and human factors, such as inattention, multi-tasking, physical ability, etc.

To combat these threats, Air Combat Command has created the 2016 ACC Fall Prevention Focus Campaign with the goal to reach our 138,000 military and civilian force in five NAFs, 34 wings at over 70 worldwide locations. If we meet this goal, we will have touched approximately one-third of the U.S. Air Force population.

This year's Fall Protection Focus week will run from 2-13 May in support of Occupational Safety Health and Health Administration Fall Protection Campaign.

The National Fall Prevention Campaign is designed to raise awareness of fall hazards and prevention. The program was originally designed for construction workers, however, since the program inception, it has expanded to include everyone.

According to OSHA officials, fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers, which accounts for 337 of the 874 construction fatalities recorded in 2014; All were preventable deaths.

Over the last 3 years, ACC has suffered 204 slip, trip and fall mishaps with 1,044 lost workdays costing approximately $1.5 million. Fall prevention safety standards were also among the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards, during fiscal year 2014. 

OSHA is partnering with key groups to assist with this effort, including: the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), OSHA approved State Plans, State consultation programs, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the National Safety Council, the National Construction Safety Executives (NCSE), the U.S. Air Force, and the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers.

Anyone who wishes to prevent falls can participate in the campaign. In past years, participants included: commercial construction companies of all sizes, residential construction contractors, sub and independent contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, other government participants, unions, employer's trade associations, institutes, worker interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers. At the heart of this initiative is the message that falls are preventable.

Organizations can conduct safety “stand down” by taking a break to have a toolbox talk or other safety activities such as: conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job specific hazards.

Managers and supervisors are encouraged to plan some down time that works best for their workplace anytime during this period to focus on this initiative.

To assist you in preparing for a successful campaign, the 23d Wing safety office in conjunction with Ninth Air Force and ACC have developed PowerPoint training presentations which are made available on our share point. Unit Safety Representatives and supervisors can also develop briefings on general slips, trips, falls for their specific work areas.

For addition information contact 23d WG safety office at 229-257-3082.