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Pinch points injuries sound less serious than they really are. They can cause a disability, amputation, or death. They usually happen in a split second, when minds are wandering or when a worker is not properly trained.
Here are some tips to avoid pinch point injuries:
1. Train all personnel completely - forgoing training to get someone on the job site quickly is one of the main reasons people get hurt on the job. Make sure all workers know how machinery and equipment works in addition to standard safety training.
2. Perform a daily Job Hazard Analysis - Prior to the start of activities each day review potential hazards and mitigation techniques specific to the tasks being performed. Make everyone aware of what could happen and how to avoid any close calls or injuries.
3. Evaluate new equipment - safety check lists are available to thoroughly review new equipment and ensure there are no pinch points, and, if there are pinch points, a guard is used.
4. Lock-out/Tag-out (LOTO) - equipment that moves needs to be completely powered down before work is done. Complete a lock-out/tag-out, so employees are fully aware that the equipment is down for service or cleaning. Pay special attention to equipment that automatically turns on, like fans that are temperature controlled.
5. Inspect - perform daily inspections to check that guards are not missing and procedures are being followed.
6. Stay focused - be aware of pinch points such as belts, chain drives, and rollers; inspect tools so you know that they are working properly.
Follow these tips and be careful to avoid pinch point injuries. If you see a co-worker not paying attention to possible pinch point hazards, warn them. Keep yourself and your co-workers safe.