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Thumb cut – Removal of guarding/safety observation

A member reports that while cutting a sheet of paper on a manual cutting machine, an employee’s left thumb was placed into the cutting line as the blade was pulled down. Upon investigation it was learned that the barrier guard had been removed from the paper cutter by another employee.

The company concerned has noted the following points:

  • Guarding/Barriers – The barrier guard (a small metal rod preventing the thumb or fingers entering the cutting line of the blade) should never be removed from a paper cutter. If a guard has been removed, the cutter should not be used.
  • Inspection – All paper cutters should be checked for proper guarding.
  • Caution – Even with a barrier guard in place, care must still be taken to keep free hands and other objects away from the blade. It is still possible to cut oneself if above the barrier guard height and into the cutting line of the blade.

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