Work accidents come in various forms. A pinch point accident occurs when part of a person’s body comes into contact with a machine’s moving components, or between material and part of a machine, or between a part of a machine that is moving and a part that remains stationary. The resulting injury may prove far more serious than the term “pinch” implies. In a worst-case scenario, a worker could lose all or part of a limb in a pinch point, or even die.
Machines and Pinch Points
Many common types of machinery contain pinch points. If a machine rolls, presses, conveys or assembles, it likely has a pinch point at some part of the process.
Not all pinch points necessarily involve machines in which a worker comes into direct contact. Automatic doors, windows, and elevators may have pinch points as well.
No Proper Training
Those at risk for pinch point work accidents are generally trained in how to use the machinery, and thus ways to avoid becoming victims. That means many workers who suffer injuries from this type of accident did not receive proper training, or did not have the potential dangers of the machinery explained to them. Some workers may injure themselves in pinch point accidents if they try taking a shortcut, rather than going through proper procedures.
Employers should ensure that all workers are properly trained on the equipment they are assigned to use, and that they understand the dangers of a particular piece of machinery. Supervisors should look out for workers who are not performing tasks the right way, and either make sure they are trained, or reassigned to more familiar machines.
Avoiding Pinch Point Accidents
The best way to avoid pinch point accidents is by paying attention, and keeping up your diligence. It is not just up to workers to avoid pinch point accidents. Employers have a duty to identify potential pinch points and warn employees about the hazards. Employers can install guards or other obstacles at possible pinch points to protect workers, but the latter must also know why such guards are in place. It is crucial that a worker knows not to move or in any way tamper with a guard, which could put them and other employees at serious risk.
Employers should instruct workers to report any previously unknown pinch points or any removal of guards. It is also important to emphasize safety when any changes occur, especially during abnormal conditions. When workers are not following their daily routine, work accidents are more likely to occur.
Even the best-trained, experienced worker is vulnerable to a pinch point accident when the machinery is down for repair or cleaning. These so-called “lockouts” require as strict a following of safety protocols as when the machinery is running. During these times, guard removal is common, and the worker may think they are safe. However, if there is still power running through the machine, there is always the potential for an accident.
Delaware Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Are Dedicated to Helping Victims of Pinch Point Work Accidents
If you or a loved one suffered a pinch point or any other type of work accident, you need the services of the experienced Delaware workers’ compensation lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. Call us at 302-888-1221 or Contact us online for a free consultation.