As a construction worker, you work with many tools and machinery that can create pinch points, which are one of the most common causes of hand injuries in the workplace.
This talk will help you understand what pinch points are, the risks associated with them, and how to prevent hand injuries caused by pinch points.
What is a Pinch Point?
A pinch point is any point on a machine or equipment where two or more moving parts come together, creating a risk of injury to fingers, hands, or other body parts.
Pinch points can be found on tools, machinery, and equipment used in roofing operations, such as power tools, ladders, and scaffolds.
Common Pinch Point Injuries
Pinch point injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to serious injuries that require amputation of fingers or hands.
Some of the common types of pinch point injuries include:
- Crush injuries: Occur when a body part is caught between two or more moving parts of a machine or equipment.
- Cut injuries: Occur when a sharp object comes into contact with a body part, causing a cut or laceration.
- Friction injuries: Occur when a body part is rubbed against a hard surface, causing friction burns or abrasions.
Examples Of Pinch Point Hazards
Here are some examples of pinch point hazards that roofers may encounter on the job:
Power tool pinch points
Power tools such as saws, drills, and grinders have moving parts that can create pinch points. For example, the blade of a saw can create a pinch point if it comes into contact with a body part.
Ladder pinch points
The joints and hinges of ladders can create pinch points if they are not properly maintained or secured.
For example, a ladder rung can create a pinch point if it comes loose and snaps shut on a worker’s fingers.
Scaffolding pinch points
The frames, cross braces, and guardrails of scaffolding can create pinch points if they are not properly assembled or maintained. For example, a cross brace can create a pinch point if it comes loose and snaps shut on a worker’s fingers.
Other Pinch Point Injuries That aren’t discussed enough
Here are some of the less known pinch points and hand injuries that are worth discussing:
Conveyor belts are normally used in industrial work environments to transport materials from one location to another.
They can be a significant source of pinch point hazards if workers get their hands or fingers caught in the moving parts of the belt.
Pallets are used to store and transport goods, and they can be a source of pinch point hazards if workers are not careful when stacking or moving them.
Pallets with missing boards or damaged edges can be particularly dangerous.
Garage doors are heavy and can cause serious hand injuries if workers get their hands caught in the mechanisms that control their movement.
It is important to ensure that garage doors are properly maintained and that workers are trained on how to safely operate them.
Food processing equipment
Food processing equipment such as meat grinders, slicers, and mixers can pose serious pinch point hazards if workers are not careful.
It is important to ensure that workers are properly trained on how to safely operate and clean these machines.
Chainsaws are commonly used in the forestry and construction industries, and they can cause serious hand injuries if workers are not careful.
Workers should be trained on how to properly use and maintain chainsaws, and should always wear appropriate protective gear.
How to Prevent Pinch Point Injuries
Preventing pinch point injuries starts with awareness and proper training. Here are some ways to prevent pinch point injuries on the job:
- Use guards and barriers: Install guards and barriers on machinery and equipment to prevent workers from coming into contact with pinch points. For example, a blade guard on a saw can prevent a worker’s fingers from coming into contact with the blade.
- Use personal protective equipment (PPE): Wear PPE such as gloves, safety glasses, and hard hats to protect against pinch point injuries.
- Inspect equipment regularly: Regularly inspect machinery and equipment to ensure that it is in good working condition and free of pinch point hazards.
- Follow proper procedures: Follow proper procedures for using machinery and equipment to avoid creating pinch points. For example, do not put your fingers near moving parts, and do not bypass safety features such as guards and barriers.
Pinch points are a very common hazard in construction operations that can result in serious hand injuries.
By understanding what pinch points are, the risks associated with them, and how to prevent them, you can protect yourself and your co-workers from these types of injuries.
Remember to always be aware of pinch point hazards and follow proper safety procedures to stay safe on the job.