Caught-in or caught-between accidents happen when someone is caught, crushed, squeezed or pinched between two or more objects. Examples include getting trapped between a barrier wall and a piece of heavy equipment, getting your hand caught in an unguarded piece of equipment or being buried by a trench cave-in. Caught- in/between and struck-by accidents account for 27% of all nonfatal injuries involving days away from work for contractors in the highway, street and bridge construction classification (NAICS 237300).
CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT AND VEHICLES
- Ensure that backup alarms/signals are working on all equipment.
- Use a spotter when you back equipment or vehicles in areas with obstructed views or congestion.
- Walk around, NOT between, equipment or vehicles during work activity.
- Make visual or verbal contact with the operator before you approach equipment or vehicles.
- When you approach equipment or vehicles, maintain at least three feet of distance from it to avoid contact.
- Erect barricades, warning lines or other recognized procedures to prevent others from entering an excavator or crane swing radius.
- OSHA requires trench protection (slope, bench, trench box, shoring) for all excavations five feet or greater in depth.
- You must maintain all dirt and equipment at least two feet from the edge of the excavation.
- Ladders need to be accessible within 25 feet.
- You must remove water accumulation within the excavation, as it can undermine the sides and increase the potential of a collapse.
POWERED TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
- All guards must be in place and in good condition on all power tools and equipment.
- Never place your hands inside equipment to clean it while it’s operating.
- Release any stored energy before performing maintenance.
- Be aware of loose clothing, jewelry, hair or other items that could be potentially caught in rotating equipment.