Guard Against Pinch Points - Gladden Safety
Guard Against Pinch Points
CAUTION – PINCH POINT
The term “pinch point” sounds like it could be unpleasant – and it definitely can be.
A pinch point is defined by OSHA as “any point at which it is possible for a person or part of a person’s body to be caught between moving parts of a machine, or between the moving and stationary parts of a machine, or between material and any part of a machine”. Pinch points can be quite pervasive at work and can occur with a number of machines and devices, including power presses, conveyors, robotic machines, metal-forming machines, plastic molding machinery, printing presses, power transmission equipment, powered doors, covers and hatches.
Avoiding pinch point hazards
To help keep workers safe from experiencing pinch-point injuries, employers should evaluate all of their machines and equipment to identify possible hazards. Once the hazards are identified, the next step is to eliminate or guard the pinch points to prevent any possible contact by an employee. Guards can help prevent workers from reaching into, over, under or through the pinch point. After the guards are in place, employers must be sure to train employees on what the guards are intended to accomplish and the reason the machines must have them. Most importantly, employers should also instruct workers not to tamper, circumvent, modify or remove the guards. Only under specific repair work cases by trained and qualified workers can a machine guard be altered or removed. Any unguarded pinch point found by a worker should be reported to a manager immediately. Pinch points and unguarded machinery can cause severe injury or even be fatal and should be respected and managed with the highest level of scrutiny.
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