Pinch Point Toolbox Talks are one of the most seemingly-obvious but crucial jobsite topics to cover with your crews. When it comes to construction work, there are an immense number of hazards that workers have to be aware of, from electrical shock and falls to getting struck by machinery or getting caught in pinch points.
Fortunately, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has developed an entire campaign around Pinch Point Toolbox Talks, which focuses on educating construction workers about the safety procedures that they need to practice every day on the job site.
In this article, we’ll cover everything that you need to know about Pinch Point Toolbox Talks and the safety hazards they address for construction workers everywhere.
The Importance of Pinch Point Toolbox Talk Safety
Hand injuries are the second leading type of injury on the jobsite in the US. That’s not a shock to anyone working in construction, but you may be surprised to learn that nearly all of these injuries could have been prevented with a few simple safety tips.
Many pinch point and hand injuries occur when workers are loading/unloading equipment or material without proper protection. To prevent pinched fingers and crushed hands in the future, make sure that your workers are aware of safe practices for loading and unloading machinery, forklifts, etc. by providing a thoughtful and detailed pinch point toolbox talk at the beginning of your work day.
After all, the average cost per injury is $38K! Don’t let your construction company fall victim to costly pinched-hand-injuries or your hard working employees suffer from easy-to-avoid mistakes.
What Are Pinch Points?
Pinch points toolbox talks address the hazards of construction workers getting “pinched” between machinery, hand tools, or other objects that could pinch or crush their body parts. Pinch points toolbox talks are one of those occupational hazards that a lot of us aren’t prepared to talk about, but they’re among some of the most dangerous and common hazards in all construction work.
Pinch points develop when body parts get caught between moving and stationary equipment. It’s easy to assume it’ll never happen to you, but according to OSHA, more than 3 million injuries occur in construction every year.
Hand amputations alone account for 22 percent of those incidents. The next time you head out on a job site, it’s important to know what pinch points are (and where they are) so you can educate your crew about staying safe on site.
Tasks such as equipment maintenance, lifting materials, assembly line work, and hooking up trailers are a few of the most common causes of pinch point accidents.
Pinch Point Safety
Pinch Point Toolbox Talks should address the most important safety topics related to pinch points in a group setting at the beginning of your work day. Some of the most common safety points include:
- Ensure proper guarding is in place and that workers are aware of pinch points to reduce your crew members hazard exposure.
- Anytime you’re near a machine or equipment, be aware of where your hands are at all times and make sure they’re not near any moving parts or equipment parts that could move.
- Never place your hands where you cannot see them!
- Always wear gloves when working with tools or equipment, as they can protect your hands from common pinch points as well as cuts, burns, scrapes, and other injuries.
- Always ensure equipment is properly locked out and tagged out by visually checking that a lock box has been installed and that each operator control is covered with a lock tag.
- Whenever you’re around equipment, make sure any power switches are off, then check again. Never assume it’s safe to operate any piece of equipment; always follow your company’s safety protocols and practices.
- Properly block any equipment or parts where stored energy could be released. This is especially important with spindles and rotating or moving parts of equipment, when it’s not in use. Sometimes, you can use wood to keep your equipment blocked; other times, a screw jack may be used to provide additional safety measures.
- Be sure to never work alone on equipment and work with a buddy system. If you are working on a small project, let another member of your team know where you’re at so they can check in on you periodically.
- Keep an eye out for others as well by communicating regularly with your crew members.
Best Practices for Pinch Point Toolbox Talks
Pinch point toolbox talks are an opportunity to walk your crew through their tasks and address the specific hazards that pinch points pose. Make sure to introduce them in such a way that engages your crew and covers important safety details that may otherwise be overlooked.
When you cover these topics, you give yourself an opportunity to show your workers just how much you care about them and their overall well-being.
Specific topics that should be included in pinch point toolbox talks include: safe pinch point tool use, avoiding injuries from improper usage of tools, and what to do when work tools are damaged or misused.
Hands-down your most valuable resource is your crew; treat them as such by providing detailed pinch point toolbox talks.
As construction workers, we know that safe work practices are vital to reducing injuries and fatalities. It’s our responsibility to ensure everyone on site is practicing safe working procedures at all times. With a little effort, your construction crew can be kept as safe as possible.
For more information about Pinch Points Toolbox Talks or any other safety topic that AnchoRock includes, contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you!
PLEASE NOTE: While our toolbox talks are written by commercial construction professionals and based on their first-hand experience, always consult with your own safety director and supervisor about best practices on your jobsite. This content and any related pieces of content serve to advise, but are by no means a substitute for a dedicated safety team and jobsite-specific guidance. AnchoRock is not responsible for any violations, hazards, and accidents that occur as a result of any construction professional using this content as their sole means of direction.