What is a pinch point?
A pinch point is any area on a worksite where workers’ hands can be easily injured. These areas are often around machinery, tools, and other moving objects. Pinch points can also be found in places where workers are required to reach into small spaces or handle sharp objects.
Top pinch points for hand injuries
- Many hand injuries are a result of a worker reaching into a machine and being crushed between moving and non-moving parts. This can result in the hands or fingers being injured or even amputated.
- If a worker is not careful when lifting or moving objects, they can crush their hand or fingers.
- When working near conveyors or rotating equipment, workers can get hands or fingers caught in them.
- When hitching or unhitching a load, there is the potential for your hand to get caught between the load and the object it is being attached to.
- When working with a crane, be aware of the potential for your hand to get caught between the load and the crane’s boom.
- When loading or unloading a truck, hands can get caught between the load and the side of the truck.
- If you are working near a forklift, never put your hand through the area where the forks are moving. This is a dangerous pinch point that can result in serious injury.
- When opening or closing a door, be aware of the potential for your hand to get caught in the door or chains.
- When strapping and wrapping machines, fingers can be caught under the straps or inside plastic wrap
- When using tools, be aware of the potential for your hand to slip and get cut or punctured.
Safeguards to Avoid Pinch Points:
- Workers should be properly trained in hand safety.
- The work area should be well-lit so that workers can see potential hazards.
- Proper safety equipment should be used in these areas.
- All machinery should be properly inspected and maintained.
- When workers are working near machinery or other moving objects, ensure they are not wearing loose clothing or jewellery.
Signs of a hand injury:
- Pain, swelling, bruising, or stiffness in the hand or fingers
- Numbness or tingling in the hand or fingers
- Weakness in the hand or fingers
- Inability to move the hand or fingers normally
- Deformity in the shape of the hand or fingers
- Cut or puncture wound on the hand or fingers
If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Hand injuries can often be treated with rest, ice, and elevation. However, more serious injuries may require surgery. And as always, report all injuries to a supervisor, no matter how minor they seem.
By following these tips, you can help prevent hand injuries.
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