Coming Soon: Stand Downs to Prevent Struck-By Incidents and Falls in Construction

April 22, 2021
NIOSH Update:

MEDIA CONTACT: Nura Sadeghpour, 202.245.0673

Coming Soon: Stand Downs to Prevent Struck-By Incidents and Falls in Construction

Prepare for April 26th and May 3-7

heavy machinery constructing a building

This year, plan for not one but two construction safety Stand-Downs. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), along with its partners, is raising awareness of fall hazards and struck-by incidents – injuries or fatalities as a result of moving objects in work and lift zones.

Join NIOSH, its partners, and employers and workers across the nation on April 26th and the week of May 3-7 for the second annual day-long National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-by Incidentsexternal icon and the eighth annual week-long National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Constructionexternal icon.

Construction deaths reached over 1,100 in 2019, the highest level since 2011. Fatal falls to a lower level account for 36% of all construction fatalities and climbed to 401 deaths in 2019, a 25% increase from 2018. Participating in one or both of these national stand-downs are opportunities for employers and employees to pause work and reinforce safe work practices on the job: have a conversation about training, job hazards, protective methods, speaking up about unsafe conditions, and company safety policies, goals and expectations.

“Falls and struck-by incidents are entirely preventable,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “Both of these national stand-downs aim to set aside time on the job to reinforce the knowledge, training and resources that are available for making the workplace a safer place to work.”

April 26th: Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-By Incidentsexternal icon

The four most common struck-by hazards are being struck-by a flying, falling, swinging, or rolling object. Struck-by incidents are the second leading cause of death among construction workers, and the leading cause of non-fatal injuries among the same population. This year, the National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-By Incidents, supported by OSHA’s Alliance program including partners in the Work Zone Safety Alliance and CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, has expanded to include lift zones in addition to work zones, and encourages contractors to pause work to educate their crews about risks and solutions for mitigating these hazards.

Resources for preventing struck-by incidentsexternal icon are available for advance planning. Please also register for the following webinars available on April 26th:

a construction worker building a house

May 3-7: Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Constructionexternal icon

Falls remain the leading cause of work-related deaths in construction, accounting for one-third of all on-the-job deaths in the industry.

The primary goal of the Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction is to raise awareness and equip contractors and workers with information to help them prevent falls. The focus generally addresses falls from roofs, ladders, and scaffolds, which represent three major sources of falls in construction.

Since 2014, NIOSH has worked with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), and CPWR to develop and promote this stand-down. Their collaboration has helped train nearly 10 million workers on fall prevention.

2021 stand-down

“Workers suffer serious and fatal injuries from falls which has a devastating impact on families and businesses,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health James Frederick. “This important collaboration with the construction industry encourages employers to learn how to better control fall-related hazards and improve their safety and health programs.”

Please register for the following Stand-Down kick-off webinars on preventing falls:

For a full breadth of Stand-Down resources from all partners, and more information about how to plan and what to expect, please visit NIOSH’s page on the National Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction, CPWRexternal icon and the One Stop Stand-Down Shopexternal icon, OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Downexternal icon page, and NIOSH’s Prevent Falls in Construction webpage of tools and information. Additional information can also be found on NIOSH’s Science Blog.

It is easy to join both Stand-Downs. Educational materials and resources are available in both English and Spanish to help plan a safety presentation or demonstration, or train workers through interactive toolbox talks and many other activities, raising awareness of the hazards and building the capacity for staying safe.

“As the weather gets warmer and work picks up around the country, we encourage employers to make plans to prevent both falls and struck-by incidents,” said CPWR Executive Director Chris Trahan Cain. “Plan for expected hazards and what could go wrong, like if a rescue is needed. Make sure the right equipment, controls, and PPE are on the job. Train supervisors, foremen, and workers on the plan and what to do if something goes wrong.”

To make the Stand-Downs successful during the global pandemic, all national events will be held virtually or at a safe social distance, and the construction community is encouraged to do the same. The resources online available assist with planning any socially distanced activities.

NIOSH is the federal institute that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. For more information about NIOSH visit

Page last reviewed: April 22, 2021