Focus Four Toolbox Talks, Module 3 – Caught-in/between, Talk #4 – Disaster Sites

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IUOE National Training Fund

Summary Statement

A toolbox talk on preventing caught-in incidents on disaster sites. Includes questions to ask, an incident to discuss with images, and a place to record questions the trainer would like to ask about the incident. Part of a collection. Click on the 'collection' button to access the other items.

What caught-in/between hazards are found on disaster sites?

Ask the following questions and give time for answers.

  • What are the hazards? Bodily entrapment with object (falling debris or heavy equipment), increased risk because of emergency circumstances, chaotic environment, and hidden/unexpected hazards
  • What are the results? Broken or crushed limbs and bones, suffocation, punctures, head injury, internal damage, and death
  • What should we look for? Heavy equipment, traffic patterns, limited access zones, hoisted loads, unstable structures and surfaces, loose debris, danger signs, escape routes, demolition and lack of engineering controls

Relate this incident or better one you know.

Actual Incident: Cleanup accidents accounted for 55 deaths, or 27% of the total from hurricanes in Florida in 2004-2005. In this group, 14 were hit or caught-in/between objects like tree limbs or heavy equipment. The average age was 57. All were men.

Ask the following question and ensure every item is covered.

How do we prevent these results?

  • Use engineering controls such as shoring and bracing.
  • Establish and adhere to rules governing limited access zones.
  • Wear safety belts to prevent falling from cab.
  • Understand how to recognize and avoid unstable structures, surfaces and debris.
  • Avoid driving and operating equipment on unstable surfaces.
  • Look for posted danger signs.
  • Do not walk under or near loads.
  • Do not hoist loads over personnel or vehicle cabs.

Ask the following about this site and ensure every item is covered.

Let’s talk about this site now.

  • Have you been briefed on the hazards of this disaster?
  • What are some issues that can lead to entrapment or crushing hazards at a disaster site? Unstable work surfaces, unstable structures, heavy equipment, loose overhead debris, chaotic environment/work environment, etc.
  • Do you know where the limited access zones are on this site?
  • How do you contact EMS if an accident occurs?
  • Do you know how to assist entrapped workers?

Record questions below that you want to ask about this site.