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'Safety stand-downs' hope to help prevent workplace injuries

The New Jersey Herald reports that today is the last day of “safety stand-downs” across the nation. By the end of today, more than a million workers will have participated in the events stressing the importance of fall protection and workplace safety.

Anyone who works in the Newark construction business can tell you that far too often workers suffer serious injuries, sometimes with lifelong effects, after experiencing a fall on a jobsite. 

In fact, falls are responsible for more fatalities than any other type of on-the-job accident. In 2012, nearly 300 construction workers were killed in falls, Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez said recently, and thousands of other workers were hurt.

He said that with housing starts rising and summer construction underway, “now is the time to focus on this vital safety issue.”

The Labor Secretary also noted that falls happen in businesses outside of the construction industry as well.

During the “stand-downs,” employers are urged to pause in their work to sit down with employees and discuss fall protection and safety in the workplace. Some of the most vulnerable are those just entering the workforce: young, inexperienced men and women eager to make a good impression on their bosses.

The head of OSHA said the agency wants to make sure they all come home safely so “that no one’s first day on the job is their last.”

At some point, everyone reaches their last day of work. For most, that last day ends with a retirement party and well wishes from co-workers. For others, that last day comes when they experience an injury that doesn’t allow them to resume their work duties.

In those cases, an attorney experienced in Social Security Disability cases can help them with the SSDI appeals process that is crucial to getting benefits approved.

Source: New Jersey Herald, "Obama administration emphasizes fall protection," Tom Raum, June 2, 2014

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