CAUGHT-IN/BETWEEN

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.

UNGUARDED MACHINERY

  • 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.

Download a printable PDF and recording form here.

Members can download the audio version of this toolbox talk here.

FOCUS FOUR HAZARDS

According to OSHA, of the 4,779 worker fatalities in private industry in calendar year 2018, 1,008 or 21.1% were in construction — that is, one in five worker deaths were in construction. The leading causes of private sector worker deaths in the construction industry were falls, followed by struck by object, electrocution and caught-in/between. These “Fatal Four” were responsible for more than half (58.6%) the construction worker deaths in 2018.

Fall fatalities – 33.5%
Struck-by object fatalities – 11.1%
Electrocution fatalities – 8.5%
Caught-in/between fatalities – 5.5%

FALL PREVENTION

  • Correctly install and use personal fall arrest equipment.
  • Install and maintain guard rails and perimeter protection.
  • Cover and secure floor openings and label floor opening covers.
  • Inspect and use ladders and scaffolds correctly.

STRUCK-BY PREVENTION

  • Do not place yourself between moving equipment and fixed objects.
  • Wear and maintain high-visibility clothes.
  • Use tag lines when moving suspended loads.
  • Inspect and use powered equipment correctly.
  • Use proper rigging techniques.

CAUGHT-IN/CAUGHT BETWEEN PREVENTION

  • Properly slope or implement trench protection for excavations five feet or deeper.
  • Ensure guards are in place and in good condition on powered tools and equipment.

ELECTROCUTION PREVENTION

  • Locate and identify utilities before starting work.
  • Look for overhead power lines when operating any equipment.
  • Maintain minimum approach distance from power lines.
  • Use GFCI on all portable electric tools.
  • Be alert to electrical hazards when working with ladders, scaffolds or other platforms.

Download a printable PDF and recording form here.

Members can download the audio version of this toolbox talk here.