OSHA has identified four safety hazards that account for the greatest percentage of all construction worker fatalities each year. OSHA considers caught-in/between hazards as one of the Focus Four Hazards.
Caught-in/between occurs when a person becomes caught, squeezed, crushed, pinched or compressed between two or more objects or parts of an object. Unguarded moving machinery, unprotected excavations and trenches, working between moving materials and immovable structures, vehicles or equipment contribute to caught-in/between hazards. Contractors must be aware of these hazards and avoid them on the job.
CAUGHT BETWEEN OBJECTS (EQUIPMENT AND VEHICLES) AND A FIXED OBJECT (BARRIER WALLS)
- Maintain a 360-degree awareness (head on a swivel) of moving equipment and vehicles.
- Do not walk between operating equipment and fixed objects. Walk around.
- Make eye contact with equipment operators or vehicle drivers before entering the operating perimeter.
- Employers must use qualified riggers during hoisting activities for assembly and disassembly work (1926.1404(r)(1)).
- If you’re moving a load that needs to be guided, use a tag line and let the equipment do the work.
- Secure loose clothing (e.g. untucked shirt, loose sleeves, shoelaces, safety vest, jackets).
- Moving parts on equipment should be properly guarded. If someone has removed a guard, replace it before you use the equipment.
- Do not attempt to reach into moving parts unless you shut off the equipment, release all stored energy and lock out the equipment.
- Remove gloves and secure loose clothing when you use drills and other rotating tools or equipment.
EXCAVATION AND TRENCHING HAZARDS
- A competent person must be on-site during excavation work.
- Slope or bench all excavations five feet in depth or greater. The angle is determined by the soil type (A, B or C).
- OR protect the excavation by a trench box the full depth of the excavation or trench.