On job sites across America, construction workers are at risk for caught in-between hazards which have the potential to severely injure or kill workers in a variety of ways. Workers have died as a result of a cave-in or other hazards associated with excavation work. Workers have also been injured as parts of their body were pulled into unguarded machinery, caught between fixed objects, or while standing near swinging cranes.
Because these unfortunate accidents fall on shoulders of the employer, our OSHA lawyers feel the subject of caught in or between accidents warrant more attention. To ensure your employees won’t fall victim to these accidents we encourage you to become familiar with the different types of caught in or between accidents in our two part series. Please read part one for to learn more.
Buried In or Crushed Accidents
Being buried in or crushed as a result of an unprotected trench or an excavation cave-in is another serious hazard. Cave-ins can cause a worker to suffocate, drown, burn, or get electrocuted. Scaffolding and walls collapsing can also bury and crush a worker leading to severe injuries or death.
Workers should always work within the confines of the protection system. This means avoiding working in unprotected trenches. Entering and exiting trenches or excavations appropriately by way of a ladder, for example. Also, utilizing techniques and tools such as sloping, benching, or trench boxes to ensure they are protected from collapses.
The Importance of Training
Implementing a quality safety training program is ultimately the responsibility of employers. Having the right products and personal protective equipment is the first step to workplace safety but it doesn’t end there. Workers need to not only be properly trained on equipment and hazards but need to be fully engaged with increasing workplace safety in your facility.
Companies need to think about how they will go about training efficiently, and they need to especially focus their attention on the “Fatal Four” hazards. Whether your program is a mix of on-site classroom training and online courses, there are resources available to you. The OSHA website is replete with health and training resources to help you effectively manage safety in the workplace.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.