When you work in a factory, warehouse or with any kind of moving equipment, there are dangers all around — especially from pinch points.
What’s a pinch point? Essentially, a pinch point is any spot where someone’s body part (or body) can be caught between two hard objects. They’re particularly common where moving machine parts cross stationary machine parts and where two different moving machine parts meet.
Pinch point injuries are just about as awful as they sound. The consequences of one can involve everything from simple lacerations to torn tendons, crushed bones and amputations.
What can you do to mitigate your risk of pinch point injuries?
The number one thing you can do is make sure that you’re using your safety gloves (assuming they’re required for your job). Roughly 70% of workers who suffer hand injuries aren’t wearing gloves when they get hurt.
What else can you do? Consider these tips:
- Check your workstation before you start. Make sure that the machine guards are in place and look for pinch points before you get started.
- Don’t stray from your station. You’re more likely to get caught in a pinch point when you’re in an unfamiliar area with unfamiliar equipment.
- Make sure you’re awake. Drowsiness can easily lead to inattention, and inattention puts you at higher risk of injury.
- Turn off the equipment when necessary. If you dropped something, don’t climb under or around moving machinery to pick it up. Shut the machines off, first.
- Get rid of anything that might get caught. Loose clothing, unbound hair, bracelets, necklaces and rings are all prone to getting caught on moving equipment — and that can pull you into a pinch point.
If you do get injured in a pinch point while working, you have every right to expect workers’ compensation to cover your medical care and at least some of your losses. If you’re struggling to get the benefits you are due, an attorney can help protect your rights.