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Machine guarding

Don’t get pinched

October 1, 2012

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The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration describes a pinch point as any point where it is possible for part of a worker’s body to be caught between moving parts of a machine, between stationary and moving parts, or between material and any part of the machine.

According to MIOSHA, pinch points can occur on devices such as:

  • Metal-forming machines
  • Robotic machines
  • Power presses
  • Conveyors
  • Printing presses
  • Powered doors, including overhead powered garage-type sliding doors

The first step toward mitigating this hazard is to evaluate and identify possible pinch points, the agency states. Then, employers must either eliminate the hazard completely or use a device such as a guard to protect employees. After eliminating or guarding the pinch points, an employer must train all employees about the reasons for the guarding, the hazards created by the pinch points and what injuries a pinch point might cause.

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