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Safety Focused – November 2022

Minimizing Caught-in or -between Hazards

Caught-in or -between hazards may cause injuries if a person is squeezed, caught, crushed, pinched or compressed between two or more objects or parts of an object. Such accidents can occur in any industry. Common workplace conditions that can lead to caught-in or- between hazards include:

  • Working with unguarded moving parts
  • Working in unprotected excavations or trenches
  • Working near heavy equipment (e.g., bulldozers, forklifts, dump trucks, excavators, compactors or cranes) that can tip or fall
  • Working near collapsing walls during demolitions
  • Working between moving and stationary objects

    Caught-in or -between hazards can be as dangerous as falls or electrocution incidents and may result in serious injuries or death. Common outcomes associated with caught-in or -between hazards include:

  • Amputations
  • Broken bones
  • Internal injuries
  • Strangulation
  • Suffocation

    To avoid injuries from caught-in or -between hazards on the job, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Use equipment only once all safeguards are in place and properly adjusted.
  • Remain at a safe distance from machinery and equipment when it’s in use.
  • Avoid walking through designated work areas.
  • Refrain from wearing loose clothing or jewellery while using machinery or heavy equipment.
  • Report any fallen, loose or damaged barriers.
  • Avoid positioning yourself between moveable materials and immovable structures.

Talk to your supervisor for more information on caught-in or -between hazards.

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The Importance of Safety Gloves

Your hands are one of your most valuable tools. But despite their importance, hand protection is sometimes overlooked on the job. According to the Government of Canada, there are an estimated 500,00 hand injuries each year. Severe hand injuries may result in a life-long loss of motion, dexterity or grip strength.

Fortunately, the majority of occupational hand injuries can be prevented with the proper use of safety gloves. Safety gloves are designed to protect against various hazards, such as chemical exposures, cuts, punctures, abrasions, crush injuries and burns. Depending on the work you do and the different exposures you face, some safety gloves may be better suited for your protection than others.

Employers are required to provide employees with safety gloves as needed, but it’s up to you to ensure proper use and fit. Here are some considerations to keep in mind while determining if your safety gloves are giving you the protection you need:

  • Identify all hazards you come into contact with during your work; this should include any contact with chemicals and physical hazards, such as fires, punctures or biohazards.
  • Determine the amount of flexibility and touch sensitivity necessary to complete your tasks.; this will determine how thick your gloves need to be.
  • Think about the type of exposures you face in your role (e.g., occasional contact, splashing or continuous immersion); this will affect the length and material needs of your safety gloves.
  • Consider any hazards that may be caused by gloves themselves; this may include reduced dexterity or tactile functions, poor comfort or skin conditions.
  • Identify any necessary decontamination measures for the gloves after use. Consider cleaning method, frequency, and other special care or disposal requirements.
  • Ensure you’ve received all necessary education and training; this includes the hazards of skin contact with workplace chemicals, glove limitations, disposal practices and what to do if your gloves fail.
  • Speak up if you feel like your safety gloves aren’t adequately able to protect you from workplace hazards.

Consult your supervisor for more information on safety gloves.