Caught-in or -between hazards led to 72 construction worker deaths in 2016. By identifying these hazards, and understanding how they happen, we can take steps to protect ourselves.

According to OSHA, Caught-In or -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.

Types of Situations and What to Be Aware Of

Cave-Ins / Collapses

  • Trenches or excavation sites with
    inadequate wall bracing or benching /
  • Walls collapsing during demolition.
  • Scaffolding collapse.

Pinned Between / Crushed

  • Machinery that is not Locked Out /
    Tagged Out.
  • Rigging failures resulting in dropped
  • Moving equipment that can pin
    objects against a wall or other

Entrapped / Caught In

  • Machinery that has unguarded moving
  • Machinery that is not Locked Out /
    Tagged Out.

How to protect yourself:

  • Always be aware of situations where you can become
    trapped or crushed by an object.
  • Use machinery that is properly guarded.
  • Use Lockout / Tagout and then verify the machine is in
    zero energy state.
  • Barricade open areas where you can become trapped or
  • Use proper guarding in open excavations and trenches.
  • Install adequate bracing, or rigging, to ensure that items
    do not fall or move unexpectedly.
  • Always make eye contact with equipment operators, and
    never walking behind, or in a swing radius of, machinery.

What is Your Employer’s Responsibility?

  •  Provide guards on power tools and other equipment with moving parts.
  • Support or secure (make safe) equipment having parts that workers could be
    caught between.
  • Ensure equipment is prevented from tipping or rolling over and has ROPS in
    place with seatbelts in use.
  • Prevent workers from being in pinch point areas of equipment.
  • Provide protection for workers during trenching and excavation work.
  • Prevent workers from being crushed by dropped or collapsing materials
    during construction and demolition work or high winds.
  • Designate a competent person to ensure safe work practices are practiced.
  • Provide proper training for workers, including how to recognize and avoid
    hazards on-site.

For more information and training on how to prevent the Focus Four Hazards, please visit:

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