According to OSHA, caught-in or between hazards are defined as: Injuries resulting from a person being squeezed, caught, crushed, pinched, or compressed between two or more objects, or between parts of an object. This includes individuals who get caught or crushed in operating equipment, between other mashing objects, between a moving and stationary object, or between two or more moving objects. Each year workers suffer approximately 125,000 caught or crush by injuries that occur when body parts get caught between two objects or entangled with machinery. The physical forces applied to a body part caught in a pinch point can vary and cause ranging bruises, cuts and scalping to mangled and amputed body part and even death.
Workers in the construction, field, industrial and office settings are all affected by caught or crush hazards to some degree. Training and learning about the caught/crush hazards and pinch point specific to your tasks, tool and equipment so you can take precautions is very necessary.
In order to protect yourself from caught in or crush hazards the following tips can be utilized:
1. First and foremost take the time to plan out your actions and decide on the necessary steps to work safely.
2. Dress appropriately for work with pants and sleeves that are not too long or too loose. Shirts should be fitted or tucked in.
3. Avoid loose and dangling jewelry.
4. Tie back long hair, tuck braids and ponytails where it does not dangle.
5. Wear the appropriate well fitting gloves.
6. Look for possible pinch points before you start a task. Take the time to plan out your actions and decide on the necessary steps to work safely.
7. Read and follow warning signs posted on equipment.
8. Never place your hands in a hazardous spot where there are pinch points or could be caught in.
9. Machinery can pose a hazard with moving parts, conveyors, rollers and rotating shafts. Never reach into a moving machine. Properly maintain use the machine and tool guards provided with your equipment. They act as barriers between the moving parts and your body. Don’t reach around, under or through a guard and always report missing or broken barriers.
10. Turn the equipment off and use lockout/tagout procedures before adjusting, clearing a jam, repairing or servicing a machine.
These tips are not a complete list but it will provide a basis to work safely
Always remember take the time to learn about the caught in/crush hazards in your workplace. Plan out your actions and decide on the necessary steps to work safely.
Copyrighted by Matthew J. Key from his forthcoming book "The Safety Corner.