This week we are going to discuss another common source of workplace injury, pinch points. The phrase, pinch point may not bring to mind a serious injury, however, pinch points can create very severe injuries from crushed appendages or limbs to amputation.
Let’s take a look at defining what pinch points are, how to identify them, common causes of injuries and how to avoid pinch points.
Monday –What is a Pinch Point
Defining the source of the injury is an important step in understanding how to identify and avoid these incidents. A pinch point is any point at which it is possible for a person or part of a person’s body to be caught between moving parts of a machine, or between the moving and stationary parts of a machine, or between material and any part of the machine.
Tuesday– How to Identify a Pinch Point
Pinch points can result from a wide range of conditions. Today we are going to give a broad overview of common pinch points in the workplace.
Pinch points can occur with a number of machines and devices, including power presses, conveyors, robotic machines, metal-forming machines, powered rollers, assembling machines, plastic molding machinery, printing presses, power transmission equipment, powered doors, covers and hatches.
Wednesday – Common Causes of Injuries from Pinch Points
Now that we understand what pinch points are and how to identify them, let’s discuss some common causes of injuries resulting from pinch points:
- Not paying attention to the location of hands and feet
- Walking or working in areas with mobile equipment and fixed structures
- Loose clothing, hair, or jewelry getting caught in rotating parts or equipment
- Poor condition of equipment and guarding
- Dropping or carelessly handling materials or suspended loads
- Not using the proper work procedures or tools
- Reaching into moving equipment and machinery
The best protection from pinch-point hazards comes not from procedures, but from the personal attention of employers and workers to potential hazards.
Thursday – Avoiding Pinch Points
Now on to the most important topic of the week, how to avoid pinch points and injuries resulting from these conditions. Today we will discuss some best practices:
- Make sure all covers and guards are in place.
- De-energize, lockout and tagout equipment being repaired.
- Be on guard on the placement of your hands, fingers, feet, etc.
- Be aware of clearances when working in tight spaces. Identify all hazardous places prior to working.
- Wear gloves appropriate for the task, but keep in mind that gloves may cause an additional hazard during some tasks if they get caught in moving parts.
- Avoid wearing jewelry and loose clothing that could be caught in moving parts. Tie back long hair.
Friday – Open Discussion
This week there has been a lot of information provided on pinch points in the workplace. Now let’s open it up to the group for discussion.
- Have you experienced or witnessed an injury caused by a pinch point?
- Was the issue corrected?
- Have you identified pinch points in your department? Have you reported it? What would you do or did you do to fix it?
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