Prevent pinch-point injuries

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A pinch point is anywhere a part of a worker’s body can be caught between two objects. According to the Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation, pinch-point injuries can result in amputation or death. However, employers and workers can take steps to prevent them. TDI offers a few tips:

Avoid shortcuts. Pinch-point injuries often occur when workers aren’t trained properly, don’t recognize the dangers of the machinery they’re working with or take shortcuts to quickly finish a task. Employers should train workers on all job tasks they’re asked to perform and instruct them to never bypass procedures.

Don’t neglect machine guards. TDI recommends that employers thoroughly inspect equipment before purchasing it. Then, manufacturers should make adjustments to eliminate potential hazards found before the equipment is sold. Once a new piece of equipment has been installed, keep a close eye on its use to ensure workers are correctly operating it and machine guards are in place. The removal of guards is a common unsafe practice, TDI states.

Follow all lockout/tagout procedures. Noting that pinch-point injuries often occur when a machine is temporarily stopped, TDI points out that it’s extremely important for workers to follow LOTO procedures. “Workers can follow guard policies for when the machine is running, but when it’s stopped and the guard is removed, if the equipment is not deenergized, a worker is not safe.”

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