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OSHA Focus Four: Targeting the Worst Physical and Financial Loss

I’ve said it before, but it can’t be said enough: safety is important not just for compliance reasons. Safety saves lives (most importantly), and it also saves financial resources.

Most safety hazards fall into four main categories. The term “OSHA Focus Four” describes the safety precautions that OSHA has outlined to target these top four categories of hazards that cause physical and financial loss on job sites. The four categories are:

  • electrical — hazards that involve risk of electrocution, such as power lines, grounding, temporary wiring, etc.
  • fall protection — hazards that include risk of fall, such as platforms, scaffolding, ladders, roofs, etc.
  • struck by — hazards that are present due to falling objects, cranes, trucks, etc.
  • crushed by — hazards that involve trenching, unattended machinery and equipment, etc.

These four hazard categories are so dangerous because they are present at nearly every job site. There is a large amount of risk because the situations occur so frequently.

Because the Focus Four hazards occur so commonly, management and employees often do not consider them as they would a hazard that appears more “dangerous,” such as chemical burn. Falls, though they sound innocuous, are actually the leading cause of fatalities.

By targeting the Focus Four in training, companies can help their management and employees prevent serious injury and even death, as well as the financial loss that results from these hazards.

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