Image source: NIOSH

Falls cause more hospitalizations, disabling injuries, and deaths in Washington State than any other workplace hazard. Falls injure about 1,600 workers in Washington each year, that’s about 4 per day. To raise awareness of fall prevention, the Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is partnering with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to sponsor “Safety Stand-Down” week from May 3-7. The annual event encourages employers to educate and train their workers to identify fall hazards and prevent injuries.

Falls in Trucking

Falls in the trucking industry account for about 20% of all injuries. Severe falls from heights rank first in average medical costs among all trucking injuries. The most common activities leading to falls among truck drivers include:

  • Entering or exiting the cab.
  • Falling off the back of the trailer or liftgate.
  • Falling off of a load.
  • Missing a step or getting a foot caught in a rung of ladder.
  • Ladders slipping out from underneath a worker.
  • Slips, trips, and falls around jobsites caused by debris, slippery steps, uneven surfaces, or inclement weather.

Fall injuries are 100% preventable. Here are a few tips to prevent falls for truck drivers:

Show your employees that you are committed to fall injury prevention by holding a Safety Stand-Down event in your own company. This could include short toolbox talks, refresher training, reviewing safety bulletins or watching a safety video.

Need resources for your event? L&I’s Trucking Injury Reduction Emphasis (TIRES) project can help. TIRES offers free tip sheets, posters, interactive simulations, and true stories about injured truck drivers.

More information about Safety Stand-Down Week is available from L&I, OSHA, and NIOSH.

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