Caught-In or -Between Hazards Protective Measures

Clothing and Jewelry

Protective clothing and equipment can create hazards. A protective glove can get caught between rotating parts. Also, a respirator face piece which hinders the wearer's vision requires alertness and continued attentiveness whenever they are used.

Other parts of the worker's clothing may present additional safety hazards. For example:

  • Loose-fitting shirts might become entangled in rotating spindles or other kinds of moving machinery.
  • Jewelry, such as bracelets and rings, should not be worn because they can catch on machine parts or stock and lead to serious injury by pulling a hand into the danger area.

Machine Guarding

Image of a grinder with a guard
Is the guard on this grinder helping to protect the worker from injury?

Reciprocating, rotating or moving parts of equipment must be guarded if they are exposed to contact by workers. Machine guards are barriers that prevent access to danger areas such as moving parts. There are four general types of guards:

  1. Fixed: A fixed guard is a permanent part of the machine. It is not dependent upon moving parts to function.
  2. Interlocked: When this type of guard is opened or removed, the tripping mechanism and/or power automatically shuts off or disengages, the moving parts of the machine are stopped, and the machine cannot cycle or be started until the guard is back in place.
  3. Adjustable: Adjustable guards are useful because they allow flexibility in accommodating various sizes of stock.
  4. Self-adjusting: The openings of these barriers are determined by the movement of the stock. As the operator moves the stock into the danger area, the guard is pushed away, providing an opening which is only large enough to admit the stock. The openings of these barriers are determined by the movement of the stock. As the operator moves the stock into the danger area, the guard is pushed away, providing an opening which is only large enough to admit the stock.

Guards must not be easy to defeat and they must not allow access to moving parts from any direction. Never remove a safety guard when a tool is being used. Hazardous moving parts of power tools and equipment need to be safeguarded. Some examples of parts that need to be guarded are: belts, gear, shafts, and pulleys.

1. What is required if a worker is exposed to contact with moving parts of equipment or machinery?

a. Trip wires
b. Warning signs
c. Machine guards
d. Guardrails

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Other Methods to Secure Machinery

Image of a plug lockout
Know your employers lockout/tagout procedures

Your employer should provide a lock-out/tag-out program or equivalent system to ensure equipment is not accidentally energized during maintenance or repair.

Lockout/tagout procedures are specifically required for equipment used in concrete and masonry operations. Bulldozer and scraper blades, end loader buckets, dump bodies, and similar equipment must be blocked or fully lowered when being repaired or not in use.

Make sure your equipment is de-energized and cannot be started accidentally.

  • First, disconnect tools when not in use, before servicing, and when changing accessories such as blades, bits, and cutters.
  • Turn off vehicles before you do maintenance or repair work.
  • If possible, lockout the power source to the equipment. The type of power source may be electric, pneumatic, liquid fuel, hydraulic, or powder-actuated.
  • Lower or block the blades of bulldozers, scrapers, and similar equipment before you make repairs or when the equipment is not in use.

For more information on Lockout/Tagout requirements, please see course 710 Energy Control Program (Lockout/Tagout).

2. What procedure is required to prevent accidental or unexpected startup of equipment?

a. Warning tags
b. Lockout/Tagout
c. Taped on-off switches
d. Caution signs or guards

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mil123 170502-F-RS654-007
Outriggers prevent rollover.

Crushed-by Heavy Equipment

The best way to prevent workers from being crushed by heavy equipment that tips over is to prevent the equipment from tipping over in the first place. For example, cranes can tip over if the load capacity is exceeded, or the ground is not level or too soft. Therefore cranes should be equipped with outriggers.

OSHA requires your employer to designate a competent person to inspect crane operations to identify hazardous working conditions, including ensuring the support surface is firm and able to support the load. Your employer must also make sure the material handling equipment is equipped with rollover protective structures.

OSHA standards also require motor vehicles, forklifts, and earthmoving equipment to be equipped with seat belts. Your employer must require their use. The use of seat belts will prevent workers from being thrown from a vehicle or equipment and being crushed when the vehicle or equipment tips over.

Collapsing walls can easily crush workers who aren't paying attention.

Crushed-by Collapsing Walls

During demolition, your employer must ensure any stand-alone wall more than one story must have lateral bracing unless the wall was designed to be stand-alone and is otherwise in a safe condition to be self-supporting.

Jacks must have a firm foundation. If necessary, the base of a jack must be blocked or cribbed. After a load has been raised, it must be cribbed, blocked, or otherwise secured at once.

3. What should be done to prevent cranes from rolling over?

a. Position crane 90 degrees from load
b. Chock all tires
c. Install seat belts
d. Extend outriggers

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Pinned Between Equipment, Materials, or other Objects

To protect yourself from being pinned between equipment, materials, or objects you must:

  • be aware at all times of the equipment around you and stay a safe distance from it;
  • never place yourself between moving materials and an immovable structure, vehicle, or stacked materials;
  • make sure all loads carried by equipment are stable and secured;
  • stay out of the swing radius of cranes and other equipment; and
  • wear a seat belt, if required, to avoid being thrown from a vehicle and then potentially being crushed by the vehicle if it tips over.

Your employer is required to take measures to prevent workers from being pinned between equipment and a solid object, such as a wall or another piece of equipment; between materials being stacked or stored and a solid object, between shoring and construction materials in a trench.

Other measures the employer is required to take include the following:

  • During demolition operations, when balling or clamming is being performed, only the personnel absolutely necessary to the work must be allowed in the work area.
  • Your employer must make sure that proper bracing is used between heavy plates used as shoring in a trench.
  • Your employer must carefully arrange the path of travel when loading/unloading, stacking, and storing materials so that no workers will be caught between materials and moving equipment or between materials and a wall.

4. Which of the following measures is ineffective in preventing a pinned-between accident?

a. Make sure loads are stable and secure
b. Do not place yourself between moving and stationary objects
c. Stay out of the swing radius of cranes
d. Do not wear a seat belt so you can jump free

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Excavation Sites

OSHA standards on trenching and excavation require your employer to designate a competent person to inspect the trenching operations. The competent person must be trained in and knowledgeable about soils classification, the use of protective systems, and the requirements of the OSHA standard. The competent person must be capable of identifying hazards, and authorized to immediately eliminate hazards.

Your employer must make sure all excavations and trenches five feet deep or more, but less than 20 feet, are protected by sloping or benching, trench box or shield, or shoring. There must also be adequate means of access and egress from the excavation. If an excavation is more than 20 feet deep, a professional engineer must design the system to protect the workers.

You must be protected from equipment or materials that could fall or roll into excavations. This could include spoils that could fall into the trench and bury the workers. Mobile equipment used near or over an excavation presents a hazard. A warning system must be utilized (such as barricades, hand or mechanical signals, or stop logs), when mobile equipment is:

  • operated next to an excavation or
  • is required to approach the edge of an excavation, and
  • the operator does not have a clear and direct view of the edge of the excavation. If possible, the grade should be away from the excavation.

If a crane or earthmoving equipment is operating directly over the top of a trench, workers should not be working underneath.

5. All excavations _____ require sloping, benching, trench box or shield, or shoring.

a. five feet deep or more, but less than 20 feet deep
b. over four feet deep, but less than 10 feet
c. between four and 20 feet deep
d. less than 10 feed deep, but over 10 feet deep

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Buried-by Structures

Anytime there is inadequate support, improper construction, or a shift in the components of a scaffold (including the base upon which the structure is built); there is danger of collapse. Measures need to be taken by your employer to avoid the collapse of structures, such as scaffolds, that could bury workers underneath them.

  • Designate a collapse zone and prohibit entry.
  • Cinder blocks or other similar materials, that can easily collapse, should not be used to support a scaffold or other structures.

OSHA standards require that scaffolds can only be erected, moved, dismantled or altered under the supervision of a competent person. The competent person selects and directs the workers who erect the scaffold. The selected workers must be trained by a competent person on correct procedures and hazards of scaffold erection.

6. OSHA standards require that scaffolds can only be erected, moved, dismantled or altered _____.

a. under the supervision of a competent person
b. by qualified third-party assembler
c. only after a plan of action is developed
d. Using cinder blocks or equivalent supports

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Designate a Competent Person

image of a competent person
Does your employer designate competent persons?

OSHA defines a competent person as:

"one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them."

Your employer must designate a competent person for certain construction activities that may have caught-in or-between hazards. Competent person duties include:

  • training workers in heavy equipment, materials handling, excavation, and scaffold erection, moving, and dismantling;
  • inspecting scaffolds and excavations, the adjacent areas, and protective systems;
  • conducting engineering surveys prior to demolition of a structure (and any adjacent structure where workers may be exposed) to determine the condition of the framing, floors, and walls, and possibility of unplanned collapse; and
  • inspecting during demolition to detect hazards resulting from weakened or deteriorated floors, or walls, or loosened material

7. Who is responsible for training workers in heavy equipment, materials handling, excavation, and scaffold safety?

a. Authorized person
b. Competent person
c. Authorized trainer
d. Third-party consultant

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Your employer must train you to perform your job and use the provided equipment safely.
Your employer must train you to perform your job and use the provided equipment safely.

OSHA’s general training requirement for construction workers states that the employer must instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the regulations applicable to his work environment to control or eliminate any hazards or other exposure to illness or injury.

OSHA mentions "training," "instruction," and "education" in their various publications in a way that may confuse readers. However, no matter the topic, safety effective construction safety "education" should include these three components:

  1. Instruction: completed by a competent person in a step-by-step presentation to ensure employees gain adequate "how-to" knowledge;
  2. Training: to give employees "hands-on" practice performing procedures and using tools, equipment, and machinery.
  3. Evaluation: of employee's abilities by a competent person while the employee is on the job.

Your employer must train you to perform your job and use the provided equipment safely. OSHA's training requirements are summaries in OSHA Publication 2254, Training Requirements in OSHA Standards.

8. Effective safety education for construction workers must include the following three components: _____.

a. approval, tests, and analysis
b. videos, tools, and trainers
c. instruction, training, and evaluation
d. regulations, hours, and testing

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