According to a recent survey about construction safety, caught in/between hazards account for 5% of all occupational deaths and a shocking 16% for fatalities in construction areas. CFCSA (Canadian Federation of Construction Safety Associations) defines caught-in or between injuries as a result of people getting caught, compressed, pinched or crushed between two heavy machines or equipment. Collapsing materials and cave-ins are also included in this type of work hazard. Most of the time, cuts, bruises, mangled body parts, dismemberment and even death are the results of such accidents. Here’s an example:
A maintenance personnel was doing some routine checkups on a water truck. He was crawling under the truck while it was still operating. A screw that was projecting from the rotating pump shaft caught his uniform. The worker was pulled into the pump shaft and eventually died on the way to the hospital. This tragedy could have been avoided if the proper safety signs were posted to warn him about the hazards he was about to face. Here are some handy construction safety tips to keep your workers safe from caught in/between hazards in your facility.
- Identify areas where caught-in hazards are present, such as heavy machines and equipment.
- Remind your employees to maintain a safe distance from rotating equipment.
- Don’t let your workers stay between heavy machinery and an immovable object.
- Always make sure that company equipment comes with guards for the workers’ protection.
- When handling machines with moving parts, always make sure that it is first turned off.
- Don’t let your employees work in an excavation with accumulating water.
Most of these types of injuries happen when a piece of a worker’s clothing, even hair and jewelry gets caught in moving machines. Employers should strongly enforce the use of safe and appropriate clothing as part of their construction safety program.
- Workers should avoid wearing loose clothes and wear close-fitting ones instead.
- Shirts should be neatly tucked into the pants.
- Short sleeved shirts are preferred. (If your workers are wearing long sleeved shirt make sure you remind them to button their sleeves at the cuff.)
- Never wear any form of jewelry at work.
- Long hair should always be worn in a bun or covered with a hairnet.
- Facial hair should be kept relative short.
Along with these construction safety tips, the best way to prevent work-related injuries is by properly training your employees on how to handle company equipment along with your facility’s safety regulations. Have your site audited to see if you comply with state and federal safety standards. A site audit is also a good way of spotting potential caught-in/between hazards in your site. Keeping your employees informed and aware about the hazards present is the best way to keep them safe from accidents and injuries.
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