Machinery-Related Injuries: How To Prevent Caught In/Between Accidents
As we mentioned in our last post “Safety Guidelines To Prevent Struck-By Hazards On Your Jobsite,” OSHA recently identified the four most dangerous jobsite hazards for construction workers. They’ve entitled them the Fatal Four -- falls, electrocutions, being struck by objects and being caught in/between hazards -- and they account for 57% of all fatalities on construction sites.
Although caught in/between machinery-related injuries are the least responsible of deaths of the Fatal Four (representing only 5%), they are the most morbid of the lot. They are the result of crushing injuries from heavy machinery.
Caught in/between accidents are when a worker’s body part is caught, crushed, squeezed, compressed or pinched between two or more objects. These kinds of accidents include cave-ins or collapsing materials, body parts pulled into unguarded machinery, equipment rollovers and being caught between equipment and fixed objects.
How To Prevent Caught-In Or Caught-Between Accidents:
- Be familiar with the equipment to know where the pinch, sheer, wrap and crush points are located, as well as pull-in areas
- Shut down equipment before doing repairs or inspections
- Chock the wheels on equipment that could move or roll
- Never work under equipment supported only by a jack; use a secondary support device
- Use the cylinder safety locks on equipment that support hydraulic cylinders to prevent the release of stored energy
- Make sure all guards are in place and properly secured after servicing equipment
- Stand to the side and be clearly visible to the tractor driver when hitching or unhitching equipment
- Leave an escape route to prevent being pinned between two objects
- Take extra caution when working around equipment that uses belts, pullies, chains, sprockets or PTO shafts
- Watch for people carrying objects that block their view of you or their destination
- Keep your focus of what you and the people around you are doing
- Eliminate all fooling around in the work area
In the five years between 2006 and 2010, 350 workers were injured when their clothing, jewelry or hair was caught by moving machinery. While 56 of these workers received fractures, 67 of them had to have their fingers or limbs amputated.
Your workers also have the ability to take precautionary measures by dressing safely to prevent machinery-related injuries and fatalities. Here are some tips to help your workers “dress the part” for safety on the jobsite:
- Wear close-fitting clothing
- Tuck your shirt into your pants
- Button long sleeve shirts at the cuff (short sleeve shirts are preferred, if possible)
- Do not wear gloves when working near rotating shafts or other moving machinery parts
- If gloves are a must, make sure they are suitable for your task by confirming it with a supervisor
- Do not wear jewelry at work
- If you wear a medical alert bracelet, secure it with an adhesive band
- Wear long hair in a bun, tie it back or cover it with a cap or hairnet
- Keep facial hair short; cover long facial hair with a net, use clips or elastic bands to keep it away from moving parts
These are only guidelines for preventing machinery-related injuries. As always, proper training of operating equipment and safety rules and regulations is critical to preventing workplace injuries and fatalities. We recommend getting a fresh pair of eyes to inspect your site via a site audit -- this ensures you are in compliance with federal laws, regulations and standards.
Ready to learn more about safeguarding your workplace against moving machine parts? Call 800-523-5367 or click on the button below to speak with a safety specialist at Arbill.