An employee was feeding cardboard strips onto slit steel as it was being coiled on a slitter machine. While the machine was operating, the employee was placing the cardboard strips on the coils. After reaching over the steel strips, the coiled steel on the mandrel pulled his right arm into the machine and amputated it.
Source: OSHA IMIS Accident Investigation Database
Slitters | Safeguarding for Specific Types of Machinery
Slitters use rotary knives to slit flat rolled metal, plastic film, paper, plastic, foam, and rubber as well as other coiled or sheet fed materials. Slitters range from small hand-fed paper slitters to large-scale automated metal slitters, complete with metal processing and handling units such as unwinders and rewinders. Both light and heavy gage slitters are available.
Amputations often occur when clothing or body parts come in contact with slitter blades or get caught in the movement of coils and rolls. Here are some example:
§ Workers can inadvertently get their fingers and hands caught in the in-going nip points of the slitter or associated machinery such as rewinders.
§ Gloves, jewelry, and loose clothing can get entangled in in-going nip points or in the rotary knives of the slitter.
§ Workers can suffer an amputation when clearing, adjusting, cleaning, or servicing the slitter while it is either still operating, or shut off but still plugged in (energized).
You can use guards and other engineering controls such as the following:
§ Install a fixed or adjustable point of operation guard at the in-feed and out-feed section of the machine.
§ Install a fixed point of operation guard to cover the sides of the unwinder/rewinder to prevent an employee’s hands or clothing from entering into the rollers.
§ Install fixed or interlocked guards to cover other moving parts of the machine such as the power transmission apparatus.
§ Use an awareness barrier guard with an interlocking gate around the perimeter of the machine to prevent unauthorized entry.
§ Provide guards for operator control stations to prevent inadvertent activation.
You can also implement work practices and administrative controls to help do the following:
§ Develop and implement safe work procedures for machine operators and conduct periodic inspections to ensure compliance.
§ Ensure that all operators receive appropriate on-the-job training and supervision until they can work safely on their own.
§ Instruct employees to perform servicing and maintenance activities under an energy control program in §1910.147.
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