Safety Nerd Pop-Quiz: Caught In & Struck By

Safety Nerd Pop-Quiz: Caught In & Struck By

Jill James

Jill James

Chief Safety Officer

Jill James brings an unrivaled perspective on risk, regulation and liability. With 14 years of experience as a Senior OSHA Safety Investigator with the State of Minnesota, and nearly a decade in the private sector as a safety program manager, Jill is a passionate advocate for training ROI.

Have a look at this image:

Have a look at the following image…

Can you...

  1. Name the potential hazard
  2. Name the type of training that would align with the hazard
  3. Name the OSHA Focus-4 hazard shown in the image


  1. The elevated dump-box shown is "energized" with gravity. The hazard is a “caught-in” or between (or “stuck by”) if the employee were to place their body under the dump-box when elevated. 
  2. Controlling an "energy" source is covered by what industry calls, Lock-Out/Tag-Out (LOTO) training:
  3. OSHA's Focus-4 Hazards: Falls, Electrocutions, Struck-By and Caught-In or Between hazards. The “Focus 4 Hazards” are the top for accidents that kill & injure construction workers.

If the employee in this photo were to place their body under the dump-box, they would then be exposed to a “caught-in” or between (or “stuck by”) hazard.

Bonus: What’s one engineering control to eliminate the hazard shown above?

If the hydraulics on the dump box fail, there must be something in place to prevent the person from being squashed. The caveman method is to place a block of some sort in the way or over the hydraulics. The caveman method is a "locking or blocking out" engineering control method and is part of LOTO. 

To help you identify Focus 4 Hazards in your working environments, ask question like: 

  • Do your employees work from heights? (Falls)
  • Do your employees work with electricity? (Electrocutions) 
  • Do your employees work with moving parts of equipment? (Caught-in) 

How likely is an energy source of gravity to hurt someone? I've seen it cause death twice; once between the gates of a belly-dump when the hydraulics failed, and once under an axle on a concrete mixer when the same occurred. It's also common in metal shops with equipment called punch presses, and with nearly any heavy equipment equipped with hydraulics such as a pay-loader, bobcat, or forklift.

If you are extra curious, here is a hazard alert regarding the belly dump fatality.