Construction is among the most dangerous industries and in recent years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that there are more than 800 fatal on-the-job injuries to construction workers annually - more than any other single industry.
OSHA has identified the 4 leading causes of fatalities in the construction industry and Caught-in Hazards are one of the Focus Four.
Caught-in or Caught-between hazards are defined as Injuries resulting from a person being squeezed, caught, crushed, pinched, or compressed between two or more objects, or between parts of an object.
OSHA Standard 1926.21(b)(2) The employer shall instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the regulations applicable to his work environment to control or eliminate any hazards or other exposure to illness or injury.
- To prevent injuries and possible fatal incidents the first step is to recognize the potential hazards.
- Never place yourself in a dangerous area or position.
- Make sure that all guards and covers are placed correctly and not damaged.
- Keep gloves and loose clothing away from moving gears or rotating shafts.
OSHA Standard 1926.300(b)(2) Belts, gears, shafts, pulleys, sprockets, spindles, drums, fly wheels, chains, or other reciprocating, rotating or moving parts of equipment shall be guarded if such parts are exposed to contact by employees or otherwise create a hazard.
Remember these important tips to avoid caught-in hazards:
- Look for possible caught-in hazards.
- Avoid removing guards and replace immediately.
- Follow trench safety and cave-in protection rules.
- Be visible by using reflective clothing.
- Never take shortcuts behind or around heavy equipment.
- Ensure all back-up alarms and horns are working.
- Avoid the swing areas of excavators and cranes.