Meat bandsaws are commonly used in the meat industry for portioning meat and other products. Meat bandsaws have been associated with a number of serious incidents and injuries to both experienced and inexperienced operators.
Injuries sustained by meat saws range from minor cuts to loss of limbs. A number of direct and indirect benefits to your business can be achieved by adopting Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) best practices and managing the risks associated with meat bandsaws which include:
- Reduced down time (when an accident occurs)
- Cost of lost product
- Replacement worker cost
- Insurance premium savings
- Reduced sick leave and related rehabilitation costs for injured workers
- Social impact of serious injury or amputation
- Improved safe work practices
- Improved employee relations
Below are some resources that provide valuable information on the safe use of meat bandsaws in areas such as meat processing plants, butcher shops, supermarkets etc.
US Bandsaw Safety Resources
The meatpacking industry (Standard Industrial Classification 2011) , which employs over 1000,000 workers, is considered to be one of the most hazardous industries in the United States. according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that this industry has had the highest injury rate of any industry in the country for five consecutive years (1980-1985) with a rate three times that of other manufacturing industries.
Safety and Health Guide for the Meatpacking Industry – OSHA guidelines for the safe use of bandsaws
Australian Bandsaw Safety Resources
The National Guidelines for Health and Safety in the Meat Industry were developed cooperatively by the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union and the Meat and Allied Trades Federation of Australia. The guidelines provide practical guidance on measures that may be put in place to reduce the incidence of occupational injury and disease in the meat industry. The guidelines are particularly aimed at employers, selfemployed persons and employees in the industry. The parties acknowledge the assistance of WorkSafe Australia and the Meat Research Corporation in the editing, production and printing of the guidelines.
Other helpful links
Additional information on Australian best practices can also be found at the state based Worksafe Associations
Safety technology is providing improved safety for employees in the Australian meat processing sector, while reducing lost production time and compensation claims from injuries. Southern Meats, based at Goulburn in southern New South Wales have invested in several BladeStop™ bandsaws. Southern Meats OH&S Manager Claire Graham said four major incidents in five years involving traditional bandsaws
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