The importance of safety procedures applied to paper cutter operation is great. Paper cutters are high powered machines that can be potentially dangerous if the operator is unaware of how to use them safely. You can think about safety in two senses. First, there is machine safety. These are precautions that are taken by using the machine correctly, especially when it has safety features built it. The second sense is personal safety. You can think about this as the kinds of things that an operator can do by him or herself in order to prevent an accident from occurring.
Each year, serious accidents occur in offices, due to unguarded or poorly maintained machines. After having carried out a risk assessment on the machinery, the employer must decide whether the machines are actually right for the job. Also, he or she should pay attention to blades, knives, folders and binders.
In addition, emergency stop buttons must work where fitted. Guillotines are particularly hazardous. In 1999, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) published a booklet on guillotine safety. This is available online. For manual handling, all lifting and carrying operations within the office should be done with great care and caution. As with all areas of the office or shop, there are regulations to be taken into account with respect to this aspect of health & safety.
In a very general sense, you’ll want to avoid the need for hazardous manual lifting or transporting, if it is reasonably practicable. You’ll also want to stay away from “short-cuts”. Don’t take risks. All operations near or around these machines should be done carefully and deliberately. You should take steps to reduce injury, by lessening loads, providing mechanical aids, improving the workplace layout. You also should train and inform the workforce by providing information of load weights as well as training in the correct way to lift and carry objects, which include boxes/bundles of paper, and supplies.
As for the machines themselves, you need to follow all of their instructions exactly as described. It’s not worth taking a chance with a machine that can not only hurt an operator or someone standing nearby, but also because it could potentially damage the machine itself, the repair of which could be an unnecessarily expensive one. These machines, especially the newer guillotines, are manufactured with built-in safety precautions, which make the machines much safer than they have been in the past. It’s to your advantage to read and follow their instructions, so that you are using the machine as it was designed to be used.
As for personal safety, it’s important that operators are not distracted when they are using a machine. If this means having to put the paper cutter in a separate room, don’t hesitate to do so. You’ll also want to make sure that the workspace where the paper cutter is, is always well lit. If you have a manual machine, make sure that the work table is stable and flat. If you’re working with a digital machine, be sure that all sensors are up-to-date and working and that the operational control room is suitable to attentive working.
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