Virginia workers who work near machinery have to be wary of pinch points. According to the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a pinch point is a point at which a person or some part of their body can be wedged between the movable parts of a machine. A pinch point can also result in a person being caught between the stationary and movable pieces of a machine or between any parts of a machine and material.
Pinch points can occur in a wide range of devices and machines. These include conveyors, plastic molding machinery, powered doors, hatches robotic machines, powered rollers and power transmission equipment. People who work with or near metal-forming machines, covers, power presses, printing presses and assembling machines are also in danger of being caught in a pinch point.
Employers can protect workers from incurring injuries from pinch points by ensuring all equipment and machines are carefully examined to detect pinch-point dangers. Once the hazards have been identified, the pinch points should be guarded or removed so that the employee will not be in contact with the pinch points.
Guards are useful for preventing workers from accessing points in any manner, such as reaching over, into, under, around or through them. Employers must ensure that employees receive the training they need once the guards have been positioned in place. The training should educate the employees on the purpose of the guards and why the machines should have them. It should also be stressed that the guards should not be tampered with, removed, modified or bypassed.
Workers who have been injured by unguarded pinch points or any other unsafe working condition may be advised by a personal injury attorney how to claim workers' compensation benefits. The attorney may litigate to ensure an injured client receives a lump sum payout.