The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Control Pinch-point Risk

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Pinch-point incidents are common across workshops, in the field, and in office environments. 

So workers should always take care, even if an environment seems safe and hazard-free.

Typical examples of pinch-point incidents include situations where people trap their fingers in door-jams, in desk draws, in car doors, or inside equipment.

Pinch-points are produced when either two moving parts come together (e.g., when rotating gear cogs turn) or when a single moving part comes in close proximity to something solid (e.g., when a moving door slams against a door frame).

In either case, it is the kinetic energy involved with the movement potential of the object in motion that causes harm when a person gets a body part in the way!  Ouch.

Pinch-points most usually impact onto fingers or hands, but any part of the body can be impacted.

This can be particularly dangerous wherever the space between the moving parts is just sufficient to allow a larger body part to be present when the moving parts come together.

The injury resulting from contact with kinetic energy in a pinch-point can be as minor as a small cut to as severe as having your head pulled off! 

So take care around all pinch points.

The common causes of pinch-point incidents include:

●  Putting a body part in the "line of fire" of the energy source;

●  Not paying attention to hand or finger placement;

●  Wearing loose clothing, long hair or jewelry which can be caught in rotating equipment;

●  Failure to use a machine's guard mechanism;

●  Poor hand placement when lifting or moving materials during manual handling;

●  Improper use of a tool; and

●  Failing to de-energize and isolate a machine before performing some kind of inspection or maintenance task.

Because of the risk associated with pinch-points, make sure you use the following controls to stay safe:

●  Always use the Think 6, Look 6 hazard management process to identify and control pinch points in every task;

●  Use handles when opening drawers;

●  Keep fingers out of "line of fire";

●  Verify that guards are in place and used on equipment that requires guarding;

●  For some jobs, ensure you're wearing gloves (of the correct type);

●  Identify pinch-point risks and the correct controls for these on your JSA;

●  Apply lock-out, tag-out procedure for energy isolation before working on the internals of any machine; and

●  Never remove equipment safety devices.

Hand Injury Prevention

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Shown below is a good safety alert from QGC covering hand-injury topics.

The safety alert shows that most hand injuries result from so-called "line-of-fire" incidents in which the hands are placed within the danger zone presented by an uncontrolled energy release.

As always, hand injuries can be prevented if you take the time and use the Think 6, Look 6 hazard and risk managmeent process to mentally plan the job.

Understanding and using  Think 6, Look 6 is the key to minimising the incidents leading to hand injuries. 

Maybe QGC will cotton on to this soon.


Preventing heat stress

Graham Marshall - Monday, June 18, 2012
Managing our activities taking account of local climate factors is another area where the safety  "one per-center's" make a real difference to our personal safety.

Featured below are some more safety "one per-center's" to help you keep your cool in hot climates:

  • Plan to do strenuous jobs during the cooler times of the day;
  • Drink water frequently in moderate quantities;
  • Avoid salt tablets;
  • Rest regularly;
  • Erect temporary shade if working outdoors;
  • Eat lightly;
  • Use ventilation or fans in enclosed areas;
  • Allow your body to adjust to the heat;
  • Avoid alcohol consumption;
  • Wear light colored, cotton clothes; and
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and SPF 30 sub-block.


Fire extinguisher audit

Graham Marshall - Sunday, June 10, 2012

When it comes to HSE management activities, I use the analogy that the "one per-centers" are the simple every-day actions and behaviours that we must always get right.

If an organization can't get the "one per-center's" right, how on Earth is it going to deal with the more complex stuff? 

Here is another "one per-center" to look at in your workplace today:

  • Check all the fire-extinguishers in your location;
  • Are they all present (none removed or stolen)?
  • Are they all adequately charged?
  • Have they been recently checked and certified? 


Remember, if you can't do a simple thing like fire-extinguisher audit, how are you going to succeed with the harder HSE problems in the rest of 2012?

Pedestrian Risk Management

Graham Marshall - Monday, April 16, 2012

It's kind of dumb, but more injuries in workplaces all across the Globe are caused during the simple act of walking about than through any other mechanism.

It's not work at heights, excavation work, using powered tools or even work in confined spaces; the number one biggest cause of accidental injury occurs when people are simply walking through the work site and they slip, trip or fall.

This safety alert from the Marine Safety Forum (MSF) illustrates an incident in which a seaman broke his leg while simply walking along a wharfside.

It is a simple "one per-center", but always remember to use Think 6, Look 6 to manage the hazards in even the most mundane acts and behaviours.




Courage for Safety

Graham Marshall - Thursday, August 11, 2011
A great video on intervening when you have a safety concern.

Produced for Woodside Energy by Alan Sim - the nicest gentlemen I've had the pleasure of working with in 15 years in the oil-field.

To view this important video - courage for safety - simply click here (English language with Dutch sub-titles).

Don Sanders, Graham Marshall and Alan Sim during the launch of Woodside's Office Hazard Management Program.

Safety Program One Per-Center's

Graham Marshall - Monday, January 31, 2011
Throughout January 2011 I've been running a series of posts about safety "one per-center's".

I've defined these as being the simple HSE actions that are easy to get right which really help to shape and define the HSE culture of an organization.

I've argued that if you aren't getting the "one per-center's" right, it probably means two things:

Firstly, you've probably got a shit-house safety culture (excuse my French); and

Secondly, you've got no realistic chance of managing HSE risk for the bigger issues you face because you can't even get the simple things going.

With those two points in mind, today I'm posting a full safety program of "one per center's" get going in your workplace in February. Some of the items will be done only once, or maybe twice, whilst others will need to be done everyday and sometimes several times each day. 

Most will require only a few minutes of effort and some require only a few seconds each day;

Below is your February "to do" list.

  • Check housekeeping of walk-ways - are they all clear and neat and tidy?
  • Do a fire extinguisher inspection - are they all "in service" and tagged compliant?
  • Inspect fire doors and fire escape stairs;
  • Inspect your First Aid boxes - up to date and restocked?
  • If it's hot where  you are, make sure you apply "sun smart" behaviours;
  • If it's cold where you are, make sure you're managing your cold-stress with appropriate actions;
  • Inspect all ladders on your site;
  • Check your vehicle maintenance records;
  • Service your car if necessary;
  • Drive defensively;
  • Drink plenty of water each day;
  • Use appropriate manual handling techniques;
  • Offer assistance to someone;
  • Check office electrical equipment and replace where needed;
  • Practice Think 6, Look 6 to maintain your situational awareness;
  • Avoid using your mobile phone when driving;
  • Inspect lighting in your office environments - replace broken globes;
  • Make sure to wear your hearing protection;
  • Inspect your PPE - replace if unsuitable; and
  • Buy a tool from the Risk Tool Box Shop.

STOP and Take 5 or Step back

Graham Marshall - Sunday, January 30, 2011
DupOnt call it STOP and others call it Step Back, 5 X 5 or Take 5. 

Call it what you want, basic hazard spotting is the most important safety tool available in the risk management tool box.

Knowing how to spot hazards using the Think 6, Look 6 hazard and risk management process is the key skill required by the whole workforce.

Today's safety "one per-center" is to get out of the office and do some hazard spotting.

Lighting inspection

Graham Marshall - Friday, January 28, 2011
Another easy and simple "one per-center" today.

Get out and do a walk around and inspect lighting in your workplace.

Look for broken or non-working lights and make sure to plan to get them fixed.

Safety "one per-center's"

Graham Marshall - Thursday, January 27, 2011
Today's safety "one-per-center" is the easiest ever - and just might make the biggest difference to your workplace.

We're not a charity so stop looking for free stuff on the net, get your wallet out, and buy something from our shop!

That way we'll be able to continue to post free stuff via the blog and we'll be able to keep feeding our kids as well!

Thanks in advance.

To visit the shop, click here.

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