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Stay Safe From Pinch Point Hazards With These 5 Crucial Tips

Stay Safe From Pinch Point Hazards With These 5 Crucial Tips

Jan 29 2024 at 14:07

Pinch points are one of many common workplace hazards that can cause serious accidents and even fatalities in a workplace environment. As its name implies, these are points where two objects come together and can potentially catch or trap a body part, most commonly the fingers and hands, and lead to injury at best and amputation at worst. In a typical job site where a wide variety of tools and equipment abound, pinch points can be found just about everywhere. A few examples include:

  • Rotating mechanical parts
  • Equipment with sliding parts or hinges
  • Conveyor belts
  • Handheld tools
  • Unsecured materials
  • Equipment and machinery doors

Although big machinery are obvious sources of potential pinch points, it is essential to know that pliers, handheld tools, and other smaller equipment also bear the same potential for causing workplace injury.


Types of pinch point injuries

Most cases of pinch point injuries typically involve the hands and fingers. The minor types generally include bruises, cuts, contusions, and blisters, while the more serious ones can range from lacerations and broken bones to amputations and even death. These injuries can happen when:

  • Jewellery, clothing, or hair gets tangled or caught in tools or machinery
  • Not paying attention to the location of one's limbs
  • Reaching into active machinery or equipment
  • Working or walking in areas with mobile heavy machinery like forklifts
  • Poor condition of equipment or safety guards


Importance of pinch point safety

All workers in the workplace must take personal responsibility and recognise potential pinch-point hazards to steer clear of avoidable injuries. On the other hand, employers are responsible for conducting regular inspections on all their assets to identify pinch points so they can be removed or safeguarded before an incident occurs.


5 tips to steer clear of pinch point hazards


1. Never put your limbs in places where your view is obstructed

Always keep your eyes on your hands and feet, and should you need to reach out into a place where you can't see them, do not proceed until you get an unobstructed view of what you are working on.


2. Be more attentive around moving parts

When working around any active machinery or equipment with moving parts, pay close attention to your every move and always stay vigilant. In addition, never leave them before they are securely turned off or decharged. If the equipment can release stored energy, be sure to properly block or secure it. Only then should you dismount or start any repairs or maintenance work since a machine that is turned on or coasting can be a significant hazard to other workers.


3. Wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE)

Always wear the required basic PPE – the right PPE, such as safety gloves, handguards, and forearm guards, offers protection against pinch points. In addition, make sure to wear snug clothing, secure long hair, and remove any jewellery articles to reduce your risk of getting tangled or caught in a pinch point.


4. Check and maintain safety guards

As the first line of protection against pinch point hazards, safety guards must never be tampered with or skipped during pre-work inspections to ensure they remain in good working order before use. On a related note, be sure to also check and maintain any warning labels placed near known pinch points around the workplace.


5. Provide proper training and discourage using shortcuts on the job site

Pinch points should be a recurring topic during training to ensure employees are always on the lookout for them throughout their shift and can properly communicate among themselves when working with assets that may cause pinch point hazards. Lastly, emphasise the importance of doing the job right and as dictated by procedure instead of taking shortcuts to save time, as this is one of the leading causes of careless mistakes and costly injuries.



From construction sites to factory floors, pinch points are common hazards found in just about every workplace, with struck-by incidents involving pinch points being just as common. Hence, employers must do more to keep their employees safe from these avoidable injuries.

But on rare occasions, pinch-point accidents may still come to pass despite following all the proper safety procedures. This possibility highlights the importance of additional training, such as courses on occupational first aid and safe lifting operations, to keep things from going bad to worse. Wong Fang Academy recognises the possibility of these safety lapses and thus offers quality and relevant workplace safety training and certification courses that benefit the well-being of your workforce.