When it comes to working with machinery that has rotating parts pinch points are a serious on the job hazard. Pinch points are caused by parts within machinery that move towards each other or a part that moves something stationary where it is possible for a body part to be caught between the moving and stationary portions of the equipment. Conveyors, gears, loaders, compactors and other moving equipment are examples of machinery with pinch points. OSHA cautions that if an employee gets caught in a pinch point body parts may become mangled, crushed or severed.
Pinch point hazards have historically been associated with power presses and large shearing equipment but in reality, a pinch point can be as wide as a doorway or as narrow as the space between the outriggers on a crane. OSHA recommends using machine guarding to help prevent pinch-point injuries. Providing safety training on all your company’s equipment, and then holding employees and supervisors accountable for following safety procedures will go a long way toward protecting employees from the hazard of pinch-points. Encouraging employees to communicate safety concerns and near-misses will also help you avoid accidents before they happen.
Some additional practice controls to help prevent pinch-point injuries include:
• Allow only properly trained employees to operate and maintain equipment
• Inspect machines and guards often
- • Never walk away from a machine that is turned on or coasting
- • Discuss and point out pinch point hazards as part of your risk assessment and toolbox meetings
- • Ensure workers use all necessary PPE
- • Keep floors clean and free of debris to help prevent trips and falls