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Avoiding pinch point injuries

Pinch points refer to any place in a machine where workers, or parts of their body, are liable to get stuck. It could be between two moving parts of machinery, between moving and stationary parts, or between some material and a piece of machinery. Employers in New York should know that pinch point injuries are more common than some people think.

These injuries can occur wherever there are, for example, power doors, covers, hatches, or presses; powered rollers; or conveyors. Workers in the construction and manufacturing industry are especially vulnerable since pinch points are found in robotic machinery, metal forming machinery, and injection molding machines. Assembling machines and printing presses also pose a high risk.

The important thing is to prevent employees from reaching into, above, under, or around a pinch point. To this end, employers should carefully inspect their workplace for pinch points, eliminating them where possible and setting up guardrails otherwise. They can instruct their employees on the purpose of the rails and train them not to tamper with the rails.

In situations where a repair is necessary, employers can have specially trained and qualified employees remove the guards. Workers should also be told to immediately report any newly detected pinch points.

Many workplace accidents involve pinch points, but thankfully, victims have a way to be reimbursed for monetary losses, including medical expenses and the income they couldn't earn during their physical recovery. The workers' compensation program can pay out a settlement while waiving the victim's right to sue the employer.

Filing for these benefits requires no proof that negligence caused the accident. Still, it might be wise to hire a lawyer. A lawyer might be able to assess the claim, hire investigators to ensure a solid case, and negotiate on the client's behalf, mounting an appeal if the claim is denied.

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