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LEO | MIOSHA Holding Safety Stand-Downs for National Fall Prevention Campaign

Michigan Business Network
May 10, 2022 11:00 AM

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Ford, Christman/Brinker and MIOSHA Stand Down to Raise Awareness of Fall Hazards in Construction 

DETROIT, Mich. — Ford, The Christman Company in a joint venture with L.S. Brinker, A Brinker Company (Christman/Brinker Corktown Transformation Joint Venture), and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) last Thursday joined at Michigan Central Station  the centerpiece of a 30-acre mobility innovation district, Michigan Central, under development by Ford — to hold a safety stand-down as part of federal OSHA’s national campaign to prevent falls in construction

All project partners voluntarily stopped work on the renovation of the iconic train station, and MIOSHA partnership project, to focus safety efforts on fall hazard awareness and how to stop fall fatalities and injuries.   

“Deaths from falls are completely preventable,” said MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman. “To help construction companies protect their most valuable assets — their workers — we are standing down with employers across the state this week to speak directly to employees about fall safety. We urge all employers, this week and beyond, to take the time to hit pause and talk candidly with their teams about common fall hazards in the workplace and how to prevent them.”  

Falls are the number one cause of construction worker fatalities in the U.S., accounting for one-third of all on-the-job deaths in the industry. While fall hazards are found in many work settings, construction has the most fatal falls out of all industries, representing 51% of all falls nationally, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. 

MIOSHA is reminding all Michigan employers of their duty to protect employees from fall hazards. Workers who are six feet or more above lower levels are at risk of serious injury or death if they should fall. To ensure protection, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including proper ladders, scaffolds and safety gear. 

“As we continue to grow our footprint here and around the nation, this is an important moment to stop and think about the safety practices that we have in place not only at our construction sites, but also at our manufacturing locations around the world,” said Thomas Kendall, Ford corporate safety manager. “Worker safety is a top priority for Ford, our goal is for our team members to return home the same way they came to work.” 

According to the latest data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls from elevations remained the leading cause of death in 2020, accounting for 351 of the 1,008 construction fatalities and 645 of the 4,764 fatalities in all industries. 

Safety stand-downs are opportunities for employers and workers to engage in dialogue about: 

  • Fall hazards, such as holes or skylights 
  • Training on proper set-up and safe use of equipment  
  • Protective methods, including guardrail systems and fall protection harnesses  
  • Company safety policies and goals  

“The decision by MIOSHA to join our team of project leaders and trade contractors on-site for this event demonstrates the strength of our long-running partnership and combined commitment to zero worker injuries and incidents during the rehabilitation and construction of Ford’s Michigan Central Station,” added Don Staley, safety executive for the Christman/Brinker Corktown Transformation Joint Venture. “While we take pause to raise awareness of on-the-job fall hazards today, we drive the importance of safety in the field every day.” 

If your workplace needs help identifying fall hazards or providing the right safety equipment or training, MIOSHA can help. Request free consultative assistance at www.michigan.gov/cetrca.   

For more information on fall prevention and workplace safety requirements in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/miosha. For federal OSHA resources or more information on how to hold your own safety stand-down, visit www.osha.gov/preventfalls.   


Bart Pickelman (speaking)

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Michigan Business Network is an online broadcasting company that provides knowledge, news, and insights into Michigan’s businesses, industries, and economy.