This blog was inspired by OSHA’s Focus Four campaign.
In continuation of the OSHA Focus Four Series, this week we will be diving into the second hazard- caught in or between. In 2008, 9% of private industry construction workers’ deaths were from caught-in or between hazards. The Bureau of Labor Statistics actually reported a 10% increase in these fatalities due to caught-in or between hazards between 2003 and 2008. While caught-in or between hazards may be similar to struck-by hazards- OSHA defines caught-in or between hazards as injuries that are “created more as a result of crushing injuries between objects” rather than when the injury is a result of the impact alone (which is a struck-by hazard). Events that would be classified as a caught-in or between hazard are cave-ins, being pulled into or caught in machinery and equipment, or being compressed or crushed between rolling/sliding/or shifting objects.
These hazards, though dangerous and at times fatal, can most likely be prevented through proper safety measures and training. Some safety measures that can be implemented include using machinery that is properly guarded, using other methods to ensure machinery is sufficiently supported, secured, and safe, and protecting yourself by working within the confines of established safety systems. Construction workers can protect themselves by being aware at all times, staying clear of moving or swinging objects, ensuring that loads are secured, and wearing a seatbelt.
According to OSHA, employers should do the following for their workers:
- Provide guards on power tools and other equipment with moving parts
- Support, secure, or otherwise make safe equipment having parts that workers could be caught between
- Take measures to prevent workers from being crushed by heavy equipment that tips over
- Take measures to prevent workers from being pinned between equipment and a solid object
- Provide protection for workers during trenching and excavation work
- Provide means to avoid the collapse of structures scaffolds
- Provide means to avoid workers’ being crushed by collapsing walls during demolition or other construction activities
- Designate a competent person
- Provide training for workers
In regards to training, OSHA provides resources to instructors and students to learn how to prevent caught-in or between hazards and institute proper safety measures on site:
For more information and training resources, go here.