Commercial kitchen equipment such as meat slicers and bakery mixers are considered hazardous pieces of machinery. Although machine like commercial slicers and mixers have individual safety precautions, machines like these often have machine guards already in place to protect the operator. Before attempting to operate any type of commercial kitchen equipment, be sure to check out the manufacturer’s operations manual.
Machine Guards Have a Purpose
All machine guards are designed to keep the operator safe. It is important to understand how these safety features work. Machine guards should perform the following functions:
- Protect the operator from sharp edges and moving parts.
- Fit securely and not be easily broken off from the machine.
- Protect against anything falling into the machine.
- Create no new hazards by adding sharp edges or corners a worker has to avoid.
Thorough Training is Crucial
Be sure that anyone operating hazardous machinery is properly trained. Proper training, especially understanding machine guards, helps to prevent injuries down the line. Here are some tips:
- Describe and identify the machine in full. Tell how the different parts function and which ones are most hazardous.
- Discuss safeguards and how they serve as protection against hazards.
- Give instructions on how to turn off and unplug a machine, especially before cleaning or servicing.
- Implement a plan of action if a machine guard is missing or broken.
- Always repair or replace damaged guards, covers or rails to ensure their efficiency at protecting the operator.
- Wear cut resistant gloves to stay safe.
- Secure machinery directly to work surface to prevent slipping.
- Never put hands inside a machine. Always use pushers or tampers.
- Keep long hair and loose clothing away from machines at all times.