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Washington, D.C. — The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) is supporting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in its effort to help prevent falls in construction. The 2016 National Safety Stand-Down urges workers, employers, and safety associations around the country to pause and dedicate time to worker safety and fall prevention.
During the week of May 2-6, OSHA helped employers and workers focus on fall safety through talks, demonstrations, and training programs around the country. During its first year, in 2014, nearly 1 million workers received fall-safety certificates during the event. In 2015, 2.5 million workers in all 50 states participated. This year, OSHA hoped to have 5 million workers join in.
“Worker safety is an enormously important issue, particularly for the roofing community, as workers spend a majority of their time at high elevation,” said Reed Hitchcock, executive vice president, ARMA. “We applaud OSHA for their efforts and believe that their fall-prevention campaign is a worthy cause.”
ARMA has been dedicated to worker safety both in its members’ manufacturing facilities and on roofs throughout its 100-year history. For the last 30 years, its annual Safety Contest has recognized ARMA member manufacturing facilities that have high safety records and significant incident rate improvements.
The organization is devoted to spreading key safety techniques throughout its membership and to reminding both employers and workers that fall protection and fall prevention are integral to every workplace safety program. As a stark reminder, in 2014 alone, 337 workers died from falls on construction sites. Falls remain the leading cause of death in the construction industry overall, and lack of proper fall protection remains the most frequently cited OSHA violation.
“Falls continue to affect workers in all kinds of jobs across the country; it’s a broad problem that has a terrible impact on workers and their families,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.
ARMA also intends to help inform homeowners that while OSHA regulations may or may not necessarily apply to them, being safe on a roof always does. It is best that homeowners stay off their roofs and conduct any inspection from the ground. ARMA recommends that homeowners contact a professional roofing contractor for any inspection, maintenance, repair, or replacement project.
To learn how to partner with OSHA during the Stand-Down, get information on how to conduct a successful event, obtain resources for employees and workers, receive a certificate of participation, and get the latest news, visit www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown.