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WHAT ARE "PINCH POINTS?"
The term doesn’t sound very pleasing to the ears and this so because it refers to any point where there is a high probability for a worker or part of worker’s body to be caught between moving parts of a machine. A pinch point may or may not cause injury to a limb or body part – it merely has to trap or pinch the person to stop them from escaping or removing the stuck part from the pinch point.
WHAT CAN EMPLOYERS DO TO PROTECT EMPLOYEES?
As a responsible manager/owner of an establishment that deals with machinery, it is highly crucial for them to recognize all of such “pinch points”.
After carefully evaluating and identifying them, the next step is to either eliminate or guard those pinch points to prevent employee contact with them. Next, it is vital for an employer to train all of the employees by explaining them about the causes for the guarding and the hazards posed by the pinch points as well as making them aware about what injury a pinch point might cause.
The employers can install guards at these pinch points that helps in preventing any injury. These machine guards are precisely intended to make a physical barrier that stops anyone from reaching into, over, under, or around the guard to make contact with the pinch point.
Employees need to be given adequate training so that:
- They are aware what the guards are designed to do
- Understand the reason for the protective barrier
- To understand not to tamper, modify, evade, or remove the guards except under very special cases (for example-when repair work might be required by skilled and qualified employees).
WHAT CAN EMPLOYEES DO ABOUT "PINCH POINTS?"
- Employees have to understand thoroughly that they are not supposed to remove, destroy, carry off, tamper, modify, or interfere with any guarding placed upon the machinery.
- Further, if any worker discovers an un-guarded pinch point, it is their duty to report the risk to their supervisor or employer instantly.
Almost every workplace that uses some sort of machines have pinch points. Meaning, that retail and office workers too are at a risk of suffering pinch-point injuries whenever they aren’t paying enough attention while using a machine.
Degree of pinch-point injuries:
As per the type of machine, pinch-point injuries maybe a minor injury such as a small cut or it can be as severe as an amputation or even crush injury. In severe cases, workers might even be pulled into machines in case they were not properly trained to use it and no proper guards were installed.
WHEN DO YOU REQUIRE AN ATTORNEY FOR PINCH POINT INJURIES?
Even if pinch-point injuries are not very severe, workers can still suffer a lot owing to loss of income and in case of severe injuries, the medical expenses could be sky-high.
Victims may be protected for their medical expenses plus for short- or long-term disability leave owing to the workers’ compensation program. But they still might need an attorney’s assistance for their claim once they reach maximum medical improvement.
A lawyer can play a vital role by explaining the difference between Section 20 and 22 settlements in case victims want to settle. In case a claim is denied, the lawyer is in a position to help mount an appeal.
At L. Clayton Burgess, we are committed to get the victims just and timely compensation. Our attorneys have enough experience with such cases and are capable of assisting an injured victim with the preparation and filing of the compulsory claim documentation.
Parties Represented by Personal Injury Lawyer Receive Nearly 3.5 Times More Money in a Settlement Than Those Without an Attorney.
– Insurance Research Council Study 2004