California employees who frequently work around machinery probably know something about pinch points. These are any points where workers or one of their extremities are liable to get caught. They include areas between two moving parts, between a moving and a stationary part of the machine and between a part of the machine and some material.
Metal workers may encounter pinch points in power presses and other metal-forming machines. Construction and warehouse workers run a high risk for injury as well. Pinch points can be found in conveyors, printing presses, assembling machines, powered rollers and power transmission equipment. Powered covers and hatches also come with pinch points. Employers who use robotic machines should know that even these pose a safety hazard.
To prevent workers from injuring themselves in pinch points, employers must have every piece of machinery and equipment inspected for these risks. Machine guards must be installed to prevent workers from reaching into, over or under the pinch point, but these will do no good if the workers are not trained properly.
Workers should be told not to tamper in any way with the machine guards. Employers should designate a qualified individual to modify or remove the guards when necessary. Workers must be trained to report any unguarded pinch points.
Even with the most safety-minded workplace culture, though, accidents can occur and give rise to workers’ compensation claims. Victims, for their part, may be able to receive benefits regardless of who was at fault. Still, employers often deny payment if victims were to blame for their injuries, in which case victims will be filing an appeal. For assistance with the filing process, victims may want to have a lawyer’s assistance.