Protecting Workers from Serious Pinch Point InjuriesDecember 11, 2019
Pinch point injuries are common in the construction and warehouse industries, and any other industry where workers must handle heavy machinery, power tools, loaders, compactors, or electrical equipment. A pinch point occurs when two objects, or two moving parts of a machine come together. When a finger, hand, or any other part of a worker’s body gets caught in a pinch point, it can cause injuries ranging from minor cuts or blisters to amputations and even death. Most of these injuries can be avoided if workers follow certain safety tips.
Pinch point injuries are preventable if workers try to avoid these common causes:
- Becoming distracted and not paying close attention to hands and feet while completing a task
- Working in an area that has moving equipment and fixed structures
- Wearing loose clothing or jewelry that can easily get caught in moving parts of a machine
- Being careless when handling materials
- Failing to follow the safety protocols for work procedures or tools
- Reaching into equipment or machinery while it is moving
Tips to Avoid Pinch Point Injuries
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that roughly 110,000 workers suffer hand injuries that result in missed workdays. Approximately 70 percent of those workers were not wearing the appropriate gloves. Wearing the recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) and keeping the following tips in mind can help prevent potentially life-threatening pinch point injuries.
- Before using a machine, make sure that all guarding is in place and working properly. If a guard stops working, notify the employer so that it can be fixed.
- Always wear the recommended PPE, including heavy-duty gloves, metacarpal guards, and forearm gloves. Do not wear gloves when working in the vicinity of rotating machinery.
- Do not leave your designated work area. Let mobile equipment operators know when you are nearby.
- Complete the appropriate lockout/tagout procedure to ensure that equipment is de-energized before performing any maintenance work. Pinch point injuries usually occur when a machine is stopped temporarily.
- Pay attention to what you are doing. If you start to feel drowsy, take a break and return to work focused and alert.
- Review operating manuals and work procedures before starting work. The manuals will likely identify any pinch points that you should be aware of.
- Do not take shortcuts. When workers are not properly trained, fail to recognize the potential dangers of a tool or piece of machinery, or they rush to finish a task, accidents can happen.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Pinch Point Injuries
If you or a loved one suffered a pinch point injury while on the job, it is in your best interest to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe work environment and ensure that employees are properly trained. Our experienced legal team will walk you through the claims process and ensure that you receive the maximum financial benefits you deserve. We will address all your questions and concerns throughout the entire process. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. Located in Baltimore, we serve clients throughout Maryland.