Toolbox Talk: Focus Four

By Published On: March 14, 2022

Focus Four

There’s no denying the construction industry is dangerous. There are tasks people do every day that are riddled with hazards both known and unknown. When looking at the injury and illness stats, it becomes very clear where the literal pain points are. OSHA designed a training program that focuses on the 4 most common fatality categories. Focusing on training and enforcement in the top 4 categories of injuries and fatalities, should yield the best results for the workforce.

  1. Falls – The leading cause of workplace fatalities (351 of 1,008 in 2020)

OSHA requires that if there is a walking or working surface more than 6’ above a lower level, they need Fall Protection. Guard Rails, PFAS, Safety Net, and Controlled Access Zones are all great solution, but they are often not provided or trained on. It is the responsibility of the employer to provide training to their workers.

  1. Caught In / Caught Between

When a person becomes caught, crushed, pinched, squeezed, or compressed between two or more objects. Most Caught Between incidents can be prevented by doing a proper hazard assessment before the work starts. Spotting the hazards that exist and fixing them before starting the work.

  • Trench collapse pins a worker to the bank and needs to be dug out.
  • Hand gets pulled in and caught in belt from a missing machine guard.
  1. Struck By

A Struck By hazard exists when a person can be injured by the contact or impact from an object (unlike Caught In which is a crushing injury) Struck By may be a flying, falling, swinging, or rolling object.

  • Hit by a nail from a nail gun
  • Hit by a vehicle
  • Running or bumping into an object
  • Wood splinters / debris in the eye
  1. Electrocution

The term Electrocution means the body was exposed to a lethal amount of electricity. Electric Shock or Burn is a survived injury from electrical contact. Electrocution can happen from improper wiring, poorly maintained power tools, not using GFCI on temporary outlets, contact with overhead or underground service wires, or lack of lock out procedures.


This is a very brief summary of the Focus Four. Please use this as a jumping point for your future safety discussions. It is important to keep talking about the hazards and where they exist in your workplace.

Questions for you

  1. Which of the Focus Four topics is most relevant to your work?
  2. What training do you have in place for that focus?

Here are a few Toolbox Talks related to the Focus Four: Fall Protection, Temporary Wiring, Roll Over Protection, Traffic Spotter

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