The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as part of its work to prevent construction site accidents, developed a program that it calls “Construction Focus Four Training.” This program is meant to teach site supervisors, superintendents, foremen and workers how to recognize and mitigate the four leading construction site hazards, which are sometime called the “Fatal Four.”

The Focus Four are:

FallsStruck By ObjectElectrocutionCaught-In / -Between.

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The type of hazards that lead to “caught” accidents sound familiar to any construction worker:

Machinery that has unguarded moving parts or that is not properly locked-out during maintenanceHeavy equipment that could tip overUnprotected excavations and trenchesWalls that could collapse during demolitionWork conducted between materials that are being moved and immovable structures, vehicles, or equipment.

Moving or unguarded machinery can catch body parts and injure a worker, or trap clothing and pull a worker into the machinery. Tipping machinery or collapsing walls, structures or trenches can crush workers caught underneath. If a pile of material being moved by a crane or a forklift gets loose, anyone caught between it and where it lands is sure to be injured.

For each of these potential hazards, there are safety standards that should be taught as part of worker training, particularly for supporting trenches, following lock-out/tag-out rules and rigging cranes.

Even a veteran construction hand can benefit from a reminder to be aware of the equipment around him or her and to never put themselves between moving materials and an immovable object.

Employers have a duty to ensure that equipment and machinery used on a construction site has proper guards, that heavy machinery is set up correctly and that materials are stacked and stored so accidents from tipping or collapse do not occur.

OSHA’s Educational Material

OSHA has its full Focus Four educational curriculum available online, including instruction guides for each hazard topic, PowerPoint presentations and handouts. These materials illustrate many of the safety recommendations in the educational material. It is all free and easily downloadable.

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If you are a construction site manager, you might consider how to use this educational material to keep your workers safe. If you are a construction worker, you can examine the material for your own education or suggest its use to your supervisors.