Washington — Prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers of the inaugural National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-By Incidents say the event will be virtual.
Set to take place April 20, the stand-down is a collaborative effort led by NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda Construction Sector Council. Other partners include OSHA’s Work Zone Safety Alliance, the executive committee for National Work Zone Awareness Week, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, and CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.
During the event – slated to take place in conjunction with National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 20-24) – employers are encouraged to engage workers online by downloading, sharing and discussing resources such as toolbox talks, infographics, training documents and videos.
“While most of the construction industry recognizes falls as the No. 1 cause of deaths and injuries, struck-by incidents are the primary hazard for roadway and transportation construction, which is the sector we represent,” Bradley Sant, ARTBA’s senior vice president for safety and education, wrote in an email to Safety+Health.
Work on the event began in late 2018, and plans for in-person events were nearly finalized when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Members of the NORA Construction Sector Council’s struck-by workgroup decided to move forward with a virtual event because a number of workers are still on the job.
“Inasmuch as this type of construction has been deemed ‘essential work’ by most state and federal government leaders, we knew our workers will continue to be exposed to struck-by incidents,” Sant wrote in the email, “and we thought it would be important to move forward and launch the planned annual event.”
CPWR encourages employers to “use creative ways to hold stand-down events within your own company that will not put you or your employees at risk of exposure to COVID-19.”