Friday, November 09, 2018

Project Spotlight: Metal Shear

Last week we performed a machine safeguarding assessment on a hydraulic shear. A shear is a powered machine used to cut sheet metal. When activated, typically by a foot pedal, it clamps the material and a moving blade descends across a fixed blade to shear/cut the material. The main hazards on a shear are the pinch between the material clamps and amputation from the shearing blade.

The most common safeguarding control found on a shear is a fixed guard installed across the front opening of the machine. Most guards have wide openings or clear polycarbonate to allow the worker to see past and some even have lights installed behind them for increased visibility. While it is very common to see shears equipped with this type of guard, it is also very common to find that the openings in the guards do not meet the recommended safe distance from CSA. Improper guard design will allow workers hands to reach the pinch points of the clamps or the shearing point of the blade. To check your shear guard openings, use the table provided in CSA Z432-16: Safeguarding of Machinery or your “gotcha stick”.

These are not the only hazards found on shears and every machine is different. Ensure that a qualified, cross-functional team performs a task-based risk assessment on your shears to identify all hazards and choose appropriate safeguarding controls. For further help with machine assessments contact us today or visit


shear guard

Posted by Kristin Petaski at 12:42 PM 0 Comments
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