There is no shortage of hazards in the workplace. To help spread awareness, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) tracks the leading causes of accidents and injuries in the workplace.
OSHA has specifically advised companies to be aware of the “Focus Four,” also often referred to as the “Fatal Four.” Review these four major hazards and make sure that you are taking the proper steps to keep your workers as safe as possible.
When thinking of fall hazards, one might first think of a worker falling from a great height, but it’s also important to be mindful of simpler hazards, such as slips or trips caused by messy working conditions.
When working at height, workers should have proper fall protection, such as railings, personal fall arrest systems and proper footwear. In addition, it is up to you to make sure that your workers are adequately trained on the proper use of fall protection and safe work practices.
Electrocution can occur in a number of ways, including something as small as an outlet or as large as a power line.
While specific causes can vary, most electrical accidents stem from one of three factors:
- Unsafe equipment or improper installation
- Unsafe work environment
- Unsafe work practices
Address electrical hazards in the workplace by making proper use of insulation, guarding, grounding and electrical protective devices, and enforcing proper safety precautions.
CAUGHT IN OR BETWEEN
These hazards can include unguarded machinery, unprotected trenches, vehicles, or working between moving materials and an immovable structure.
Instruct workers to stay safe by:
- Ensuring that machines are properly guarded
- Using proper lockout/tagout practices
- Being aware of their surroundings at all times
These hazards span a large range of potential accidents, including being struck by a vehicle, a falling object or debris. It is important to keep workers at safe distances from machines and moving equipment.
OSHA requires that permanent aisles and areas where mechanical handling equipment is being used be kept free of obstructions and adequately marked. Be sure to establish safe work practices and provide your workers with adequate personal protective equipment.