Food slicers | Safeguarding for Specific Types of Machinery

Food slicers are electrically powered machines typically equipped with a rotary blade, an on/off switch, thickness adjustment, and a food holder or chute. A pushing/guarding device or plunger may be used to apply pressure to the food against the slicer blade, or pressure may be applied by gravity/or by an attachment connected to the food holder.

Figure 1: Meat slicer
Add a note here
Add a note hereAmputations resulting from work with food slicers can occur as follows:
§  Add a note hereWhen the operator adjusts or services the slicer while it is still operating or while it is switched off but still plugged in or energized. In the latter case, amputations occur when the operator accidentally switches the slicer on.
§  Add a note hereWhen the operator fails to use the sliding attachment on the food-holding device, especially when slicing small pieces of meat.
§  Add a note hereWhen the operator hand-feeds food into a chute-fed slicer without using the proper pushing/guarding device or plunger.
Case History 
Add a note hereAn employee was cleaning a meat slicer that was turned off but still plugged in. He inadvertently turned the machine on, bumping the on/off switch, resulting in an amputation of his right ring finger.
Food slicer safeguards
Add a note hereSome engineering controls you should use include the following:
§  Add a note hereInstall guards that cover the unused portions of the slicer blade on both the top and bottom of the slicer.
§  Add a note hereBuy slicers already equipped with a feeding attachment on the sliding mechanism of the food holder, or purchase the attachment separately and install it prior to use.
§  Add a note hereInstruct employees to use a pushing/guarding device with chute-fed slicers.
§  Add a note hereProvide employees with a plunger for chute-fed slicers that are not equipped with a pushing/guarding device.
Work practice and administrative controls
Add a note hereOther work practices and administrative controls you can implement for food slicers include appropriate procedures and training. For example, you should:
§  Add a note hereDevelop and implement safe operating procedures for slicers and conduct periodic inspections to ensure compliance.
§  Add a note hereEnsure that all operators receive on-the-job training under the direct supervision of experienced operators until they can work safely on their own.
§  Add a note hereInstruct operators to turn off and unplug slicers when not in use or when left unattended for any period of time.
§  Add a note hereInstruct operators to use plungers to feed food into chute-fed slicers. For other slicers, they should use the feeding attachment located on the food-holder. Never place food into the slicer by hand-feeding or hand pressure.
§  Add a note hereTell operators that, although not required, wire mesh gloves may be worn while operating the slicer or cleaning the slicer’s blade.
§  Add a note hereInstruct operators to retract the slicer blade during cleaning operations.
§  Add a note hereInstruct employees to perform servicing and maintenance activities under an energy control program in accordance with §1910.147.
Add a note hereIf the slicer is cord-and-plug connected equipment for which exposure to the hazards of unexpected energization or start up of the equipment is controlled by the unplugging of the equipment from the energy source and by the plug being under the exclusive control of the employee performing the servicing and maintenance, §1910.147 does not apply.
Meat grinders
Add a note hereElectrically powered meat grinders typically have a feeding tray attached to a tubular throat, a screw auger that pushes meat to the cutting blade and through the cutting plate, an on/off switch, a reverse switch, and a plunger.
Meat grinder hazards
Add a note hereAmputations can occur when:
§  Add a note hereThe operator reaches into the throat of the grinder while it is still operating or while it is switched off but still plugged in (energized). In the latter case, amputations occur when the operator accidentally switches the grinder back on.
§  Add a note hereThe operator fails to use the attached feeding tray and throat.
Add a note hereDefective meat grinders, such as ones with holes in the throat or screw auger area, are also a source of workplace amputations and must be taken out of service.
Case History 
Add a note hereAn operator amputated his arm below the elbow while hand-feeding potatoes into a five-horsepower meat grinder through a feed throat with a 4-inch by 6-inch opening and no point of operation guard. This untrained employee had been working on the machine for only 15 minutes.
Add a note hereSource: OSHA IMIS Accident Investigation Database
Meat grinder safeguards
Add a note hereIn terms of engineering controls, the following are effective:
§  Add a note hereEquip meat grinders with properly sized throats that prevent the operator’s hands from inadvertently reaching the point of operation.
§  Add a note hereProvide operators with properly sized plungers to eliminate the need for their hands to enter the feed throat during operation.
Add a note hereIn addition, work practice and administrative controls such as these can help prevent accidents and injuries:
§  Add a note hereDevelop and implement safe operating procedures for meat grinders to ensure that the guards are adequate and in place, and that the grinder feeding methods are performed safely. Conduct periodic inspections of grinder operations to ensure compliance.
§  Add a note hereEnsure that all operators receive appropriate on-the-job training under direct supervision of experienced operators until they can work safely on their own.
§  Add a note hereInstruct operators to turn off and unplug grinders when not in use or when left unattended for any period of time.
§  Add a note hereInstruct operators to use the proper plunger device to feed meat into grinders. No other device should be used to feed the grinder.
§  Add a note hereInstruct employees to operate only grinders with feeding trays and throats installed.
§  Add a note hereInstruct operators to use the meat grinder only for its intended purpose.
§  Add a note herePerform appropriate servicing and maintenance activities under an energy control program in accordance with §1910.147.
Add a note hereIf the slicer is a cord and plug connected equipment for which exposure to the hazards of unexpected energization or start up of the equipment is controlled by the unplugging of the equipment from the energy source and by the plug being under the exclusive control of the employee performing the servicing and maintenance, §1910.147 does not apply.

1 comment:

Machine Crafts said...

Great blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you

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