Practical Monthly Training Tips:  Put a Stop to Pinch Point Injuries

Pinch point hazards are abundant in a manufacturing environment and can be found on many types of equipment including metal-forming machines, power presses, conveyors, robotic machines, powered rollers, assembling machines, plastic molding equipment, printing presses, powered benders, press brakes, power transmission equipment, powered doors, covers and hatches.

It is a common misconception that pinch injuries cannot be serious. In fact, pinch point injuries can be deadly, and they are one of the most common types of accidents in the manufacturing industry.

To reduce your risk of pinch point injuries at work, consider the following safety recommendations.

  • Before beginning your shift or when working with new equipment, identify potential pinch point hazards. Pay special attention to equipment that moves and could come into contact with fixed objects. In this type of work, some of the most common causes of pinch point injuries include the following:
  • Feed rollers and rollers
  • Revolving barrels, containers or drums
  • Belts and pulleys
  • Blades of fans used for cooling
  • Band or circular saws
  • Gears, sprockets, shafting and chain drives
  • Extractors, parts washers and tumblers
  • Be extremely cautious when placing your hands, fingers or feet between two objects. If you are within a pinch point, consider alternative ways to get the task done. If there is no other way to complete the task, make sure that all parts are immobilized before continuing.
  • Do not operate machinery without the proper guarding equipment in place. If you need to perform repairs or adjustments to the guards themselves, replace them before using the machinery again.
  • Never use your feet to brace, force or chock objects.
  • Wear appropriate gloves for the task at hand – ill-fitting gloves may be an additional hazard as they can get caught in a machine.
  • Follow all lockout/tagout procedures.
  • Do not wear jewelry or loose clothing, and always tie long hair back. These items can get caught in machines.
  • Know how to turn off equipment immediately in case of an emergency.
  • If you spot an unguarded pinch point, contact a manager immediately.