Many types of machines pose pinch point hazards to workers
Employers in Connecticut have a legal duty to identify and mitigate hazards that could injure workers. Pinch point dangers represent a class of hazards that creates the potential for a person or part of a person’s body to get caught and squeezed. Pinch points can exist between the moving parts of a machine, a moving and a stationary part or between material and a machine.
Examples of machines known to have pinch point hazards include printing presses, powered doors, conveyors and plastic molding machines. Metal presses, robotic equipment, powered rollers and assembling machines also have areas where flesh could get caught.
Guards that prevent people from making contact with pinch points form the primary defense against worker injuries around these machines. Employers need to inspect their equipment for these hazards and install appropriate guards. Educating workers about the purpose of the guards represents the next step for safety. Training should inform workers that they must never remove guards or reach around them. To promote a safe environment, workers should also report any hazards they notice so that problems can be addressed.
Because any job site has the potential for an accident, employers must maintain workers’ compensation insurance. A person injured at work has a right to file a claim for benefits. In some situations, a person might want legal advice before or during the filing of an insurance claim. An attorney may be able to address concerns about workplace safety or challenge an employer that does not want an employee to make a valid claim for benefits. An attorney may support an effort to report safety violations to regulators and prepare insurance paperwork. If an insurer denies a claim, an attorney might file a lawsuit and gather evidence to illustrate the person’s need to be compensated for medical care and lost pay.