California employees who work around machines or equipment with moving parts always have to be careful around pinch points. These are defined as areas of a machine where a part of an employee's body may be caught.
There are several steps employers can take to reduce the risk of pinch-point injuries. Employers should first identify where these types of injuries can occur and then work to eliminate the hazard. This may include getting rid of the pinch point altogether or adding a guard. If a guard is installed, it should encapsulate the pinch point, thereby preventing employees from reaching into or under it. The final step is to educate employees on what the guards do.
All workplaces that use machines have pinch points. This means that even retail and office workers are always at risk for suffering pinch-point injuries if they are not paying attention when using a machine. Depending on the type of machine, pinch-point injuries could be as minor as a small cut or as severe as an amputation or crush injury. In some cases, workers can even be pulled into machines if they were not properly trained to use it and there were no guards in place.
Workers who suffer pinch-point injuries while on the job could face a loss of income and expensive medical costs, especially if the injury was particularly severe. In these cases, workers' compensation benefits will likely be available. An attorney who has experience with these types of matters can often assist an injured victim with the preparation and filing of the required claim documentation.