OSHA deputy director Dean McKenzie spoke to attendees recently at the 2015 Remodeling Leadership Conference, detailing new final ruling regarding confined spaces and the agency's 2015 National Safety Stand-Down campaign.

Published May 4 and set to take effect on Aug. 3, the new ruling creates protections for workers entering these small spaces. The safety stand-down, May 4-15, is an effort to raise awareness of preventing fall hazards. OSHA's goal is to involve more than 3 million workers this year.

Two of McKenzie's key point, according to an article in Remodeling magazine:

  • Workplace fatality rates are decreasing, but as the housing market recovers, the number of actual fatalities per year is increasing. Remain educated about what the best practices are to keep your employees safe

  • Falls can happen from any height and at any location. In 2013, 11% of all fatal falls were from less than 6 feet. These falls are not only traumatic or life-ending for the individuals involved, but they also end up costing everyone money. Workplace injuries and fatalities cost the U,S, economy almost $200 billion a year.

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