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BIE Safety Advisor | May 2024

Lisa Ramirez | April 30, 2024

Join OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s annual National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction will be held May 6-10, 2024.

OSHA encourages construction employers and other stakeholders to join the event to promote awareness and training to address one of the industry’s most serious dangers.

Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death, accounting for 376, or 29 percent, of the 1,297 construction fatalities recorded in 2023 (BLS data). The National Safety Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries.

Any workplace can hold a stand-down by taking a break to focus on fall hazards and reinforcing the importance of prevention. Companies not exposed to fall hazards can also use this opportunity to have conversations with employees about other job hazards they face, protective methods, and the company's safety policies and goals. It’s also an opportunity for employees to talk to management about fall and job hazards they see.

In past years, participants included commercial construction of all sizes, residential construction

contractors, sub and independent contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, the U.S. Military, other government participants, unions, trade associations, institutes, employee interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers.

OSHA is partnering with key groups to assist with the effort, including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the National Occupational Research Agenda, the Center for Construction Research and Training, the American Society of Safety Engineers, the National Safety Council, the U.S. Air Force, and the OSHA Training Institute Education Centers.

Companies can conduct a Safety Stand-Down by hosting a toolbox talk or a safety activity such as safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job specific hazards. 

To share information with OSHA on your Safety Stand-Down, fall prevention programs or

suggestions on how to improve future initiatives, email

May Toolbox Talk | Sun Safety

No Fry Friday Reminds us to Stay Safe in the Sunshine

With the warmer days and longer sunlight hours, we need to think about the risks of sun and UV exposure, and that’s why the Friday before Memorial Day is National Don’t Fry Day.

The Don’t Fry Day goal is to raise awareness of the risks of overexposure to the sun. Skin cancer, while largely preventable, is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than one million cases are reported annually. By following some simple steps, you can enjoy time in the sun and protect yourself from overexposure.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends these steps to help you and your family stay safe and healthy:

  • Don’t burn. Sunburns significantly increase one’s lifetime risk of developing skin cancer, especially for children.
  • Avoid sun tanning and tanning beds. UV light from tanning beds and the sun causes skin cancer and wrinkling.
  • Generously apply sunscreen. Use about one ounce to cover all exposed skin 20 minutes before going outside.
  • Sunscreen should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 and provide protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Reapply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, when possible.
  • Seek shade and remember that UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. 
  • Use extra caution near water, snow and sand, which reflect the damaging rays of the sun and increase the risk of sunburn.
  • Check the UV Index, which provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities. The UV Index is issued daily by the National Weather Service and the EPA. (The EPA SunWise UV Index app is available for iPhones and Android.)
  • Get Vitamin D safely through a diet that includes vitamin supplements and foods fortified with Vitamin D.
  • Early detection of skin cancer can save your life. A dermatologist should evaluate all new or changing moles.

Information provided by, Prepared and edited by Michael Ballantine, Occupational Safety Consultants,