Focus on Safety: Pinch Points Hurt Everyone

Do you know what a pinch point is? If you’re familiar with commercial industries, then you’ve probably at least heard this term. But, if you’re accustomed to an office environment, you may associate pinch points with tight spots in your budget, or even something that should be discussed in harassment training. However, this is a $2.04 billion a year problem that every leader needs to know about.

Beyond Just a Pinch
A pinch point is anywhere a part of the body is caught between two objects. But it’s much more than just slamming your finger in a door or getting your foot stuck in a floor grate. It could be a worker getting her hand crushed in a piece of machinery or an employee being crushed between a building and a vehicle. These types of accidents can result in fractures, amputations, and even death. In 2009, pinch point accidents were the seventh most common cause of disabling injury, according to the 2011 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index. California alone reports approximately 125,000 pinch point injuries each year. And, keep in mind these are probably only the serious injuries that get reported. It’s not uncommon for workers to be embarrassed by a small injury and let it go unreported.

Squeeze the Life out of Your Company
As a business leader, it benefits your company and your employees to find ways to decrease these types of accidents. Not only can injuries cost your business money due to workers’ compensation and medical bills, you’ll also lose profits due to a drop in productivity, morale, and employee engagement. That can add up to some big loses from a relatively easy problem to prevent. Providing safety training on all your company’s equipment, and then holding employees and supervisors accountable for following safety procedures will go a long way toward protecting employees and your business. Encouraging employees to communicate safety concerns and near-misses will also help you avoid accidents before they happen.

While most leaders probably aren’t passionate about workers’ comp or workplace safety, every leader should be zealous about their employee’s productivity and engagement, as well as the success of the company. And, since all those things are tied to workplace safety, doing your due diligence to ensure pinch point injuries are minimized will go a long way to helping you meet your production and workforce goals.

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