Precautions to Take Against Shear and Cutting Point Injuries

Shear and Cutting Point Injuries

Shear and Cutting Point Injuries – In a machine setting, when the edges of two sharp objects are moved close to each other to cut a soft material, it creates shear points (as in the case of an auger or a pair of shears).

Cutting Points

On the other hand, when just one sharp object is moved rapidly or forcefully to cut material, it creates cutting points (as in the case of sickle blades).

Key Differences

Shear and cutting points are both created on machines meant for cutting (as in a harvester), and on those not meant for cutting (as in an auger). Don’t believe the latter is completely safe – it is not. Many risks come with using an auger as well. Any time a machine has moving parts, certainly ones that are exposed, there are risks involved when employing them.

These points are hazardous because of their strong cutting force. Secondly, the objects for cutting or shearing are moved so fast that they may not even be visible. So, for a worker, it is easy to forget they are operating.

Typical Cutting or Shear Points

  • Grain augers
  • Window cutter bars
  • Hedge trimmers
  • Harvester cutter heads
  • Rotary mower blades
  • Sickle bar mowers

Potential Shear and Cutting Point Injuries

Some of the common injuries from cutting or shear points include crushing of tissue, lacerations, broken bones, contusions, and even amputations. If any part of the body comes in contact with a cutting or shear point, an injury is virtually inevitable because of the high speed of the mechanical objects. Projectile injuries may also take place if a rotary mower or another cutting-type machine throws an object – certainly if it is sharp and someone is not wearing safety glasses.

Safety Precautions

Employers, as well as machine operators, must take precautions to minimize the risk of injuries from shear or cutting points. Operators should be made aware of the cutting and shear points present in their work environment, apart from the ones that are directly associated with the machinery or equipment they may be using.

  • Employers should identify and inform workers about the specific machines and equipment that could have cutting or shear points.
  • Protective shields and covers should be put in place for all such machinery. Damaged or worn out shields must be replaced.
  • Workers should wear snug clothes, avoid wearing any jewelry or accessories, and confine long hair before operating in the vicinity of cutting or shear point hazards.
  • Before performing any form of maintenance, the worker should turn off the equipment, and wait for any rotating or moving parts to come to a complete halt.
  • If during maintenance, the protective shields are removed, they should be secured in their place again before the machine operation begins.
  • If warning labels are damaged or missing, they should be promptly replaced.

Other Safety Recommendations

Workers operating the equipment should make sure never to reach across a cutting or shear point hazard. They should remain alert and take care never to place their hand, finger, or feet near the shear or cutting points.

Correct lockout and tag-out procedures must be followed each time as necessary. Some types of machines may have wheels for mobility. Before carrying out any repair or maintenance activity, wheel chock blocks must be set in place, or parking brakes should be engaged.

No operator should take the chance of this machine shifting in place when in use!

Watch YouTube Video: The Power Shear Metal Cutting/Shearing Machine. This short video demonstrates how a shearing machine works.

Machine Accident Lawyers in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, a machine accident lawyer in Sacramento. Any time a machine has sharp moving parts, there are risks involved when employing them. If you or someone you know has been injured in a workplace accident, call me for a free consultation at 916-584-9355.

I’ve assisted many clients in Sacramento and throughout Northern California since 1982 to receive the compensation they deserve for their wrongful death and personal injury cases.

Shear and Cutting Point Injuries:

Photo by virusmon on pixabay / Shear and Cutting Point Injuries.

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