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Pinch Points and Hand Injuries Prevention Toolbox Talk

Pinch points are a common hazard on construction sites. Learn best safety practices for avoiding hand injuries from pinch points in this toolbox talk.

Pinch Points Safety Talk

In construction job sites everywhere there are safety issues and hazards present. It is up to you the worker to know how to keep yourself as well as others safe while you are working. Some of those hazards are pinch points and hand injuries.

Hand injuries are the second leading type of injury on the job site in the United States. This is mostly due to the fact that we use our hands for virtually all work tasks and they are constantly in the line of fire. A major type of injury that can occur to the fingers and the hands-on job site are from crushed-by type accidents. Pinch points are a hazard that can lead to crushed-by injuries.

What is a Pinch Point?

A pinch point can occur when two objects come together and there is a possibility that something such as a hand or finger or even a person can be caught or injured when coming in contact with the objects. Pinch points injuries are most commonly hand injuries, but they can impact any part of the body if you are not careful.

A crushed by injury occurs when force or pressure is put on a body part and often happens when a part of the body is squeezed between two heavy objects. Pinch points are a common hazard that leads to crushed by injuries.

Pinch Point Injuries

An injury from a pinch point can be simple and minor or can be more complex and life-threatening. Some minor pinch point injuries include blisters and contusions. While more complex and severe injuries include amputation and even death. Other examples of pinch point injuries that can occur include bruising, cuts, sprains, lacerations, and crushing of the hand or finger.

Should you find yourself suffering from a pinch point injury you should report your injury to foreman or supervisor immediately. If necessary you should seek medical treatments for your injury. If needed you can call 911 or have a coworker do it for you. With many injuries, time is of the essence so that a proper diagnosis and treatment can be identified.

Examples Of Pinch Point Hazards

Pinch point hazards are not always easily identified on a construction site. You must be aware of everything that could potentially make you at risk for an injury. Some common places on a job site for pinch point injuries can include:

  • A pair of pliers

  • Excavator

  • Concrete blocks

  • Unsecured materials

  • Chains and pipes

  • Machinery

  • Truck doors

These are only some examples of places that pinch point hazards may be present on a job site. The pinch point hazard is everywhere on a job site. Anywhere that a piece of equipment is transmitting energy there is a hazard for a pinch pint. Should you have any questions about pinch pints hazards notify your foreman.

Caution tape on a construction site.

How to Prevent Pinch Point Injuries

There are a few tips and safety controls you can practice to avoid pinch point hazards and injuries. These include but are not limited to:

  • Avoid shortcuts.

  • Inspect machines and guards often.

  • Follow all lockout/ tag-out procedures.

  • Pay attention to where your hands are around any moving parts or parts that have the potential to move.

  • Do not place your hands where you can not see them.

  • Wear the proper gloves and PPE for jobs where you could get injured.

  • Properly block any equipment or parts where stored energy can be released.

  • Communicate with your coworkers when working with materials that could cause a hazard.

  • Make sure you are properly trained before operating and maintaining equipment.

  • Never walk away from a machine that is turned on or coasting.

  • Keep floors clean and free of debris to prevent falls and injuries.

These are not the only tips and safety procedures you can follow to ensure your safety on a job site just some to make you aware of the hazards around you. As always should you have any questions about the rules and tips you should ask your foreman for clarification.

Pinch Point Safety is Everyone's Responsibility

You can follow all the safety procedures, rules, and tips that you want every day while on the job site, and let's face it, injuries will still happen. The hazards in the workplace are going to be there and it is impossible for us to list every hazard and every potential way to protect you and your coworkers. The best protection from pinch point hazards and other hazards come not just from procedures, but from everyone paying attention and every worker and visitor to a job site being aware of potential hazards. This can be achieved by :

  • Reviewing the dangers of pinch points and the procedures for working safely on a regular basis with your coworkers and supervisors.

  • Making sure inspections are performed frequently to ensure that guards are being used and are not missing from equipment. Follow the correct procedures and if guards are not in place and let a supervisor know.

  • Identify and report any hazards you may see so they can be resolved and hopefully no one will get injured.

Remember that safety is the responsibility of everyone on the job site. From the visitor to the workers to the contractors to the supervisors, everyone must work together to stay safe.

Pinch point hazards are not always obvious on a job site. The obvious ones such as a moving piece of machinery or a conveyor belt are not normally the ones you see a worker get injured on. Many simple tasks such as shutting a truck door or using a pair of pliers can cause a pinch point injury if someone is not paying attention to what they are doing.

That is why it is important to pay attention to where your hands are at all times and pay attention to everything around you. It is also essential to not get complacent with your job and tasks and always monitor things. All workers must understand pinch point hazards and know how they can be prevented. Evaluate your tasks and your work areas every day and before you start a new project for any of these types of hazards. Let a supervisor know should you see anything that could cause an injury.

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