Mechanical Hazards: Pinch Points

Ag Safety and Health September 22, 2016 Print Friendly and PDF

Chain Sprocket

(Source: Penn State Ag Safety and Health)

Use the following format to cite this article:

Mechanical hazards: Pinch points. (2013). Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/68327/mechanical-hazards:-pinch-points.

 

A pinch point is an area where two or more rotating parts move together with at least one part moving in a circle. These rotating parts may move at high rates of speed, making it difficult for an individual to pull free once caught. Injuries can occur when a person touches a belt or chain, tries to clear debris from drive wheels, or falls into or brushes against a belt or pinch point, or when loose clothing becomes entangled, drawing fingers, hands, and feet into a pinch point.

Examples of pinch points on farms and ranches include the following:

  • Chain drives
  • Feed rollers
  • Gears
  • Sprockets
  • Belt drives
  • Pulley drives
  • Conveyors

Potential Injuries

The types of injuries that can be sustained when working around pinch points include the following:

  • Amputations
  • Lacerations
  • Contusions
  • Crushing of tissues or bones
  • Broken bones

Safety Precautions

Listed below are ways that you can reduce your risk of a pinch point incident:

  • Identify machines that might have pinch points.
  • Make sure all shields are securely in place to cover pinch point areas. Replace heavily worn or broken shields.
  • Watch your footing and move slowly around pinch point areas. 
  • Wear clothing that fits well because close-fitting clothing is less likely to be pulled into moving parts.
  • Remove any jewelry, tie or secure long hair under a hat, and remove drawstrings on hoods or jackets when working around pinch point areas.
  • Turn off the machine and wait for any rotating parts to come to a complete stop before beginning any type of maintenance.
  • If a shield is removed to complete maintenance, make sure the shield is securely in place prior to operating the equipment.
  • Place and maintain warning labels near pinch point hazards.

Resources

Click here to view a video about pinch point hazards from the Pennsylvania State University’s Agricultural Safety and Health Program.

 

Use the following format to cite this article:

 

Mechanical hazards: Pinch points. (2013). Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/68327/mechanical-hazards:-pinch-points.

 

Sources

Agricultural equipment and machine hazards. (2016). The Ohio State University. Retrieved from http://agsafety.osu.edu/programs/cfaes-osha/ag-equipment-machine-hazards.

American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), 2008. ANSI/ASAE S493.1. Guarding for agricultural equipment. St. Joseph, MI. Retrieved from http://elibrary.asabe.org.

Harshman, W., Yoder, A., Hilton, J., & Murphy, D. (2011) Mechanical hazards. HOSTA Task Sheet 3.1. Pennsylvania State University Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/sites/default/files/NSTMOP%20Task%20Sheets%20Se....

Safety note #22: Pinch point hazards. (2004) University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Environmental Health and Safety. Retrieved from http://safety.ucanr.org/files/1413.pdf.

 

Reviewed and Summarized by:
Linda M. Fetzer, Pennsylvania State University – lmf8@psu.edu
Ron C. Jester, University of Delaware (Has since retired)
Gail Lapierre, University of Vermont (Has since retired)
Dennis J. Murphy, Pennsylvania State University – djm13@psu.edu
Aaron M. Yoder, University of Nebraska Medical Center - aaron.yoder@unmc.edu

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