The Ultimate Guide to OSHA Fatal Four Safety Training

08 April 2021

The OSHA Fatal Four is the term given to the deadliest job site hazards on a construction site. These include falls, electrocutions, struck-by, and caught in between incidents.

If you’ve worked on any heavy industry job site, you’re probably already familiar with these top hazards. However, regardless of whether you’re aware of these hazards, it is crucial to keep these risks top of mind whenever you’re entering or working on a job site. 

Regular training to promote awareness of these hazards is essential for a safe job site. If you want your safety plan to succeed, you’ll need to cover these topics in your safety plans on a regular basis. 

In this article, we cover everything you need for an effective OSHA Fatal Four Safety Training. 

What are the OSHA Fatal Four?

The OSHA fatal four are the top hazards that most commonly resuly in death on a job site. These include falls, struck-by, caught in between, and electrocution incidents. The most deadly and most common risk on a job site are fall incidents. 

1. Falls

A fall can be anything on your job that could cause you to lose your balance, resulting in a fall. Any working or walking surface is a potential fall risk. When working at heights of just four feet and above, you are at risk of a fall injury. In construction, OSHA requires employers to provide workers with fall protection at six feet. 

Where to find safety training on fall incidents:

To adequately train workers on fall hazards, safety managers should cover the definition of falls, fall hazard statistics, fall hazard scenarios, fall hazard risks, and how to prevent and stay safe from fall hazards. All of these topics are included in our Fall Tool Box Talk blog post

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The next top hazard of the OSHA Fatal Four is Struck-by hazards. 

2. Stuck-by

A struck-by hazard is when an object’s impact causes harm. Any impact between a person and an object is considered a struck-by hazard or incident. It’s common for struck-by hazards to be confused with caught-in-between hazards, which we will cover later on in this article. It’s important to both know and establish the difference between the two. For example, when an injury happens because someone is crushed between objects, that is a considered a caught in-between hazard, not a struck-by.

Where to find safety training on struck-by incidents:

An effective safety training discussing struck-by incidents, the second of the OSHA fatal four, will need to cover the meaning of a struck-by incident, where and how struck by incidents can occur on a job site, struck-by statistics, and how to prevent struck-by incidents. You can find all of this information and more in our Guide to Struck-by Hazards Safety Training article. 

The third of the OSHA Fatal Four Hazards are electrocution hazards. These hazards are common on job sites, and often deadly. 

3. Electrocution

Electrocution, in this context, results when a worker is exposed to a lethal amount of electrical energy. An electrical hazard on a job site can cause burns, electric shock, arc flash or blast, fire, or even explosions. 

Where to find safety training on electrocution hazards

One common mnemonic device to remember electrocution hazards is, “BE SAFE” which stands for burns, electrocution, shock, arc flash/blast, fire, and explosions. Safety plans that cover the definition of electrocution hazards, examples of hazards most commonly found on job sites, and how to avoid and prevent electrocution hazards are effective ways to keep workers safe and injury-free. A complete guide to electrocution safety training can be found here. 

Finally, the last of the OSHA Fatal Four hazards on a job site is caught in between incidents. 

4. Caught in between

According to OSHA, caught-in or – between hazards are injuries resulting from a person being squeezed, caught, crushed, pinched, or compressed between two or more objects or between parts of an object. 

When you get caught or crushed in operating machinery, between other objects, within a moving and stationary object, or between two or more moving objects, this is considered a caught-on or -between hazard. 

Where to find safety training on caught in between hazards

Caught in between hazards can be fatal, or life changing. Imagine losing a limb one day on a work site… these are the real risks that exist on a job site everyday if you’re not careful. Caught in between training should include real life examples to drive home the dangers of these hazards. Safety training should also include its definition, examples of hazards on job sites, and of course, how to avoid and prevent caught in between hazards. 

You can find all of these topics covered in our Caught In Between Hazard Safety Training Guide here. 

How to provide training to your workers

Regular toolbox talks on these topics prove to be an effective way to refresh the memories of workers on OSHA’s fatal four hazards on a job site. If you’re looking for a digital solution that provides standardization and consistency (meaning every worker on every job site will receive the same consistent message) consider online solutions like GoContractor, which can take your safety training online, giving every workers and subcontractor on your job site access to your consistent and effective safety plan. 

Creating safety training in GoContractor is simple. In this article we show you how to create an orientation in our easy-to-use platform.

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Sonya Sikra

Sonya is the Brand Strategy Manager at GoContractor. She specializes in communicating how implementing tech in construction can drive productivity and profit.

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