Safe use and guarding of meat processing machinery


This safety alert was designed to highlight the risks associated with using small meat processing machines for slicing, mincing, grinding or tenderising meat and meat products.


There are a lot of imported meat slicing machines that may expose operators to a serious threat of harm. Although butchers and caterers could also utilize similar kinds of meat processing machines, they are frequently found in takeaway outlets and restaurants.

Contributing factors

The chief dangers are:

The rotating cutting blades could be retrieved via the feed hopper (see Picture 2) and also the dispenser chute. Severe injuries can be caused by contact with the moving blades.

The cutting blades are prone to rusting and food residue can build on surfaces, which are hard to reach for cleaning and sanitising. Food health problems can appear, where the surfaces contacted by food aren’t effectively cleaned.

This kind of machine will continue to function together with the hopper or cover removed, raising the danger of serious harm.

The conductive metal body poses a greater danger of electric shock when the unit is not made and kept in accordance with applicable electric standards, especially when using water to wash the machine whenever it’s joined to the power socket.

There isn’t any emergency stop device to immediately stop the device within a crisis.

There might be additional dangers appropriate to these and other kinds of meat processing machines.

Importers, suppliers and individuals in control of the workplace have an obligation to ensure meat processing machines is secure and without risk to health when used correctly. Any man who imports plant (instead of buying the plant from the neighborhood supplier) for use within a small business or endeavor, takes in the duties of the supplier even if importing or supplying plant isn’t their customary business. Under workplace health and security laws, a provider has got the added duty to analyze and guarantee the plant is secure to utilize.

Action needed

A risk assessment ought to be conducted at various periods through the life of the meat processing machine–when it’s new, relocated or following an incident.

  • The existence and proper location of emergency stop device(s).
  • The areas of control systems, including emergency stops and interlocks, must comply with proper technical standards.
  • The design and building of the machine must ensure safe access for powerful cleaning, care and sanitisation.
  • The device must comply with all the applicable laws for electric safety.
  • The device should be accompanied by information about the way it should be utilized to ensure safety and health.

These controls aren’t exhaustive and are supplied as a guide only. Because of the selection of meat processing machines used in business, the controls selected ought to be dependent upon a risk assessment.


About Author

Labour Solutions Australia Pty Ltd specialises in temporary, permanent and outsourced workforce solutions with a strong focus on Food Processing, Civil and Building Construction, Mining and Engineering, Transport and Logistics, Manufacturing and Agribusiness staffing needs.

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