Sunday, October 11, 2020

Caught-In Between Hazards Toolbox Talks


Past in October of 1994, OSHA implemented its Focused Inspections measures for construction worksites.  A focused inspection intensifies on the four main causes of death at construction worksites: 

  1. Falls from elevation. 
  2. Struck-by, hit-by.
  3. Caught in/between and electrical hazards.  

18% percent of all construction related deaths are caused by caught in/between accidents.

Scope of Discussion

Thousands of such incident/accident stories can be told about caught in/between hazards.  What exactly is a “caught in/between” hazard?  Here’s one example.

A worker was steam cleaning a scraper. The bowl apron of the worker was left in the raised position. The hydraulic apron had not been blocked/checked to halt it from accidentally falling. The apron fell surprisingly and the worker was caught between the apron and the cutting edge of the scraper bowl. The apron weighed generally 2,500 pounds.  You already know how the story ends.

When there is a trenching and shoring, a proper stairway, ladder, ramp or other safe ways of getting out of a trench must be properly located in excavations that are four feet or deeper.  And workers must not have to travel more than 25 feet in any direction to reach installed ladder.

Moreover, each worker in an excavation must be secured from cave-ins by a proper protective system designed as per OSHA rules and regulations. Shield protecting system must not be subjected to loads exceeding those which the system was established to withstand.

Material handling, storage, use, and disposal.  

Materials and or substances or other objects kept in tiers must be stacked, racked, blocked appropriately, or somehow safeguard to prevent sliding, falling, or collapse unwanted incidents.

Hand and power tools.  

When power operated tools, equipment or machinery is designed to accommodate guards they must be equipped with those guards when in use. All belts, gears, shafts, pulleys, sprockets, spindles, drums, fly wheels, chains, or other reciprocating, rotating, or moving parts of equipment or machinery. Tools must be guarded if the parts are exposed to contact by workers or otherwise create a fatal or even minor hazard.

Cranes, derricks, hoists, elevators, and conveyors.  

Reachable areas within the swing radius of the rear of the crane’s rotating superstructure must be barricaded to safeguard or prevent a worker from being struck or crushed by the crane or machinery.

Mechanized equipment.  

End-Loader Buckets (ELB), Dump Bodies (DB), bulldozers and scraper blades, and other similar equipment/tools must be either fully lowered or blocked when being repaired, serviced or when not in use.


  • Why is the word “focus” utilized in association with being aware of caught in/between hazards?
  • Which of the above mentioned potential risk exposure is present on your current work site?
  • Is workforce on your work-site inducted of any changes that may include any of the above severe possible hazards? 
  • Who do you report a actual or potential hazard to on your worksite?

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