Labor to hold 'safety stand-down' to fight construction deaths

The Labor Department is encouraging construction workers to take a break next week to focus on workplace safety issues.

Tens of thousands of construction companies and more than 1 million employees have agreed to spend one day next week learning about how they could prevent workplace hazards, developing rescue plans and conducting safety equipment inspections. 

The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is hosting a safety stand-down from June 2 through June 6 with this year's focus on fall hazards.

"A safety stand-down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety," OSHA said in a statement about the event. "This year we are focusing on 'Fall Hazards' and to reinforce the importance of 'Fall Prevention.'"

According to OSHA, falling from buildings continues to be a leading cause of death among construction workers. In 2012, the agency recorded 775 construction-related deaths, of which 269 were from falls. 

"Lack of fall protection is the most frequently cited OSHA violation, proving that these deaths are preventable when employers provide the right safety equipment and properly train workers how to use it," OSHA said. 

Labor Secretary Thomas PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE and OSHA Director David Michaels will kick off the safety stand-offs during an event on Monday.