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Safety stand-down for construction workers to be held in May

Construction employers in New Jersey and across the U.S. are being encouraged to hold fall safety stand-downs in May. During these events, they will cease operations in order to talk about fall hazards in the workplace and how to reduce or prevent them. OSHA and the Center for Construction Research and Training have declared that from May 7 to 11, they will be holding their fifth annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, so this would be a good time for many employers to join in.

Roughly a third of construction deaths are caused by falls, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. This is why the stand-down, which brings together employers and their employees, could prove beneficial. There is no prescribed way of holding a stand-down -- employers could create a training session with videos, demonstrations or toolbox talks. They could also conduct an equipment inspection or something else that addresses fall hazards.

In the past four years, millions of construction workers in all 50 states and even internationally have participated in stand-downs, according to OSHA. In the U.S., around 49 percent of these events were held by companies with fewer than 25 employees, so the stand-down has tremendous appeal to businesses both big and small.

While these may help to reduce fall accidents, such injuries cannot be eliminated altogether. Fortunately, the workers' compensation program can reimburse injured employees for their medical bills, lost wages and other losses. Victims only need to report the accident and let their employer know their intentions; they don't need to pin the accident down on anyone's negligence. Next, they can hire an attorney to handle the filing process. Since every state puts a cap on the amount of benefits, the lawyer can work to achieve the maximum compensation amount.

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