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Reducing the Most Common Causes of Injury and Fatality: the OSHA Focus Four


The goal of safety isn’t just compliance. The real goal of safety is to save lives. Because so many accidents happen in four main categories of hazards, OSHA has created a special emphasis on these categories, called the OSHA Focus Four.

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. Also, because they’re so common, they’re easily overlooked.

The four categories are:

  • Electrical – hazards that involve risk of electrocution, such as power lines, grounding, temporary wiring, etc.
  • Falls – 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.

Because the Focus Four hazards occur so commonly, management and employees often do not think of them as they would a hazard that appears more “dangerous,” such as a chemical burn. Falls, though they don’t sound particularly scary, 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.


photo credit: andrechinn via photopin cc



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