OSHA assesses and categorizes the most common workplace hazards with the greatest likelihood of causing injures or fatalities, narrowing them down to what they call the Focus Four. Eliminating the risks posed by the Focus Four would prevent nearly 591 worker fatalities in the United States every year. Please use our OSHA’s Focus Four Toolbox Talk to review this information with your employees.

Focus Four

Fall hazards are present at most worksites and include anything that could cause a worker to lose their balance and result in a fall. Any walking/working can present a potential fall hazard, but improper scaffold construction; unsafe portable ladders; and unprotected roof edges, roof and floor openings, and structural steel and leading edges pose major risks. To better prevent fall incidents, use OSHA’s Plan, Provide, and Train mantra:

  • Plan ahead. Decide how the job will be performed, what tasks will be involved, and what safety equipment you may need.
  • Provide the proper equipment. Provide fall protection and all necessary equipment including proper ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear to all employees working at heights of 6 feet or more.
  • Train employees to properly use the equipment.
  • Train employees to recognize job hazards and how to properly set up and safely use the equipment they need on the job.

Struck-by incidents are produced by forcible contact or impact between the injured person and an object or piece of equipment. Struck-by injuries typically involve flying, falling, swinging, or rolling objects. To better prevent struck-by incidents:

  • Wear appropriate PPE, stay alert around heavy equipment, and stay clear of lifted or suspended loads.
  • Check vehicles before each shift to ensure all parts and accessories are in safe operating condition.
  • Avoid driving a vehicle in reverse when your rear view is obstructed, unless the vehicle has an audible reverse alarm or another worker signals it is safe.
  • Always secure loads properly with appropriate rigging.
  • Securely attach and/or tether all tools and equipment.
  • Maintain situational awareness when working on or near roadways.

Caught-in/between incidents involve individuals who get caught or crushed in operating equipment or between other mashing objects, a moving object and a stationary object, or two or more moving objects. Individuals involved in cave-ins; trenching incidents; and who are pulled into, become caught in, or strangled by machinery and equipment fall under this category.To better prevent caught-in/between accidents:

  • Always use machinery with proper guarding.
  • Make certain machinery is sufficiently supported, secured, or otherwise made safe.
  • Follow the OSHA Hazardous Energy (lock-out/tag-out) Standard to protect from unexpected equipment startup.
  • Never enter unprotected trenches or excavations 5 feet or deeper without an adequate protective system in place. Some trenches under 5 feet deep may also require a protective system.
  • Make sure the trench or excavation is protected either by sloping, shoring, benching, or trench shield systems.

Electrocution hazards include bodily contact with electricity resulting from situations such as faulty equipment, ungrounded or damaged equipment, failure to use proper lock-out/tag-out procedures, and wet conditions. To better prevent electrocution accidents:

  • Be aware of overhead power lines and maintain a safe distance.
  • Use GFCI with all power tools.
  • Check tools and extension cords for damage before use.
  • Use power tools and equipment only in the way designed.
  • Follow the OSHA Hazardous Energy (lock-out/tag-out) Standard.

Take proactive steps and engage your employees to promote safety and reduce the consequences of OSHA’s Focus Four so everyone can go home safely to their families every night.

RETTEW offers a variety services and trainings related to the Focus Four. Our safety experts can evaluate your jobsite and provide the most relevant solutions for your employees. Contact Kelly Kramer, CECD, HEM, at 800.738.8395 to schedule a consultation.

Additional Offerings

Safety training and consulting are only some of RETTEW’s 600+ services. Our safety team works hand in hand with engineers, scientists, project managers, and other technical experts at places such as manufacturing facilities, drill pads, and commercial construction sites. We are well respected in many industries and known for ensuring workers and equipment remain safe, which keeps your projects on track and your bottom line growing.