Safety Tip of the Week – Caught or Crushed Injuries

caught or crushedEach year, workers suffer approximately 125,000 caught or crushed-by injuries that occur when body parts get caught between two objects or entangled with machinery.

Common causes of crushing hazards:

  • 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.

Controlling crushing hazards:

  • Machine guarding: Verify all guarding is in place and effective.
  • Personal Protective Equipment: Heavy-duty leather gloves, metacarpal guards, forearm guards, etc. Note: Do not wear gloves around rotating machinery.
  • Pre-work inspection: Identify potential pinch points before starting work.
  • Stay in employee designated areas: Always make sure mobile equipment operators know your location.
  • Lockout/Tagout: Always verify the equipment is de-energized before starting any maintenance work.
  • Alertness: Drowsiness leads to inattentive work habits and shortcuts.
  • Operating manuals and work procedures: Always review these before starting work; pinch points may also be identified in these documents.
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