Our daily activities, at work and at home, place us in scenarios which constantly expose us to hazards and changing work environments. A situation that can lead to a pinch point has the possibility to develop at any time throughout our work day. Our planning process helps us identify existing hazards and pinch points, but do we spend enough time identifying pinch points that we will create as work progresses? As our environment changes our situational awareness needs to change with it. Situational awareness is key to preventing injuries and keeping us out of pinch points as we move from task to task.
Plan your work and identify the different areas of your job site
- Moving equipment/machinery
- Small tool usage
- Equipment travel lanes
- Blind spots
Look for existing pinch points/caught between hazards
- Location of walls and obstructions
- Tight spaces were hand tools will be used
- Staged materials that can roll or fall over
- Areas which can pinch or trap you and prevent you from escaping
- Areas with limited space which constrict the working area
Identify potential pinch points that will develop as work progresses
- A new wall, beam or structure is placed where none was before
- Different portions of the work require different tools and equipment, will they create pinch points once we start using them?
- Other work activities encroaching on your current work area
- Are you doing any rigging, hoisting or moving equipment that could shift or roll?
Awareness is key to keeping yourself and others out of pinch points. Identify pinch points and eliminate them whenever possible. Guard, barricade, and mark all other pinch points which cannot be eliminated. Maintain a high degree of situational awareness around work areas that have moving components and are constantly changing. Remember‚ as your work area changes so should your situational awareness.