Employers in New Jersey, regardless of the industry they specialize in, will want to make sure their workers are protected from pinch points. These are points in machinery where it’s possible for workers to get caught: they could be between two moving parts, between a moving part and a stationary part, or between a material and some part of the machine. Many workers are injured by having fingers, feet, loose clothing, and hair caught in these pinch points.
They are found in robotic machinery, assembling machines, injection molding machines, and metal forming machines. Powered doors, powered hatches and covers, and conveyors present the same risk, as do printing presses and power transmission equipment. Workers in the construction and manufacturing industry are especially vulnerable.
The first thing employers should do is inspect their workplace and identify all pinch points. Those that cannot be eliminated should have guardrails installed around them so that employees do not reach into, above, or under them. Employee training is essential; everyone should be told the purpose of the guardrails.
Only specially qualified employees should be trained on how to remove the guardrails in the event that repairs become necessary. All employees should be instructed to report any pinch points that have gone undetected.
When people suffer pinch point injuries in the workplace, they will have the grounds to file for workers’ compensation benefits. Unlike in a personal injury claim, it doesn’t matter who, if anyone, was at fault. Filing for these benefits, though, will waive the victim’s right to file such a claim against the employer. It may be a good idea to hire a lawyer who focuses on workers’ compensation cases, as he or she might be able to pursue the maximum settlement that the state allows. A successful claim could cover medical expenses, lost time from work, and more.