Avoiding Pinch Points

May 21, 2020

Pinch points are points where a person could get caught between a machine and its moving or stationary parts or other materials. Often pinch-point injuries are the result of untrained or improperly trained workers who do not realize the dangers of machinery. Workers take shortcuts to get the work done more quickly, often resulting in injury. Never perform a task without proper training. Taking shortcuts or bypassing procedures could become serious.

Some pinch points are obvious. Other pinch points can be less obvious yet still result in serious injury. Many workplace injuries are caused by distracted workers. Employees should always remain focused on the task. 

Pinch point locations

Pinch point dangers can arise in relation to a wide range of different machines. Below are a few examples of common machines or tasks with pinch points:

  • assembling machines
  • conveyors
  • power presses
  • powered doors
  • robotic devices
  • hook-up trailers
  • lifting materials

Please note many machines and tasks can raise pinch point issues which causes pinch point safety to be a significant issue in all different kinds of workplaces.

Pinch point injury prevention

  • Regularly inspect guards and machines.
  • Only allow properly trained employees to maintain and operate equipment.
  • Never turn or walk away from a coasting or operational machine.
  • Ensure all employees wear necessary personal protective equipment.
  • Keep floors clean and free of debris to prevent trip and fall accidents.
  • Regularly point out and discuss pinch point hazards.
  • Regularly review the dangers of pinch points and procedures for working safely.
  • Perform frequent, targeted inspections to ensure guards are not missing.
  • Reward employees for identifying and reporting hazards; quickly resolve hazards.

Remember, proper training on the task is only part of remaining safe. Taking one’s time and paying attention when performing a task can help to reduce injury and keep employees safe.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility and should not be learned by accident!