Safety Tip of the Week – Be Aware of Pinch Points

Each year, workers suffer approximately 125,000 caught or crushed injuries that occur when body parts get caught between two objects or entangled with machinery. These hazards are referred to as “pinch points.” The physical forces applied to a body part caught in a pinch point can vary and cause injuries ranging from bruises, cuts, amputated body parts, and even death.

When you think of the word ‘pinch,’ would you automatically think of it as something that could cause a disabling injury to your hands, toes, or body?

You may have worked around a pinch point hazard for some time, but don’t ignore them. Eventually, if they are not made safe, someone will get caught in the bite.

Injuries 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; and
• Reaching into moving equipment and machinery.

Remember, that it is up to each worker to report unsafe pinch points, so that guards can be fabricated or purchased for installation on the equipment. Check your work area for hazards such as unguarded winch drives, chain drives, belts, augers, etc. Most machinery has some type of a pinch point, and the only way to make them safe is by adequate guarding, which prohibits entry of fingers, clothing or hair.



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