Posted by Peter Koch
I never realized just how dangerous a meat slicer could be; but 20 years later I can still see the scar. According to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industry, between 2000 and 2004 more than 700 workers were injured while using a meat slicer. I guess I was ahead of my time. While working for a small family owned restaurant I committed one, well more than one, of the seven key slicer errors, and in an instant, became a statistic.
Seven Key Slicer Errors:
- Operating the slicer with the blade guard removed.
- Leaving the slice thickness set to anything but zero when not in use.
- Pushing the food into the blade with your hand.
- Slicing pieces that are too small for the food pusher.
- Cleaning the slicer with the blade spinning.
- Cleaning the slicer with the power cord plugged in.
- Taking your eyes off the slicer when it is in operation.
For me it was #5 and #7. My penance was eight stitches and nerve damage to my left pinky finger. Not a good trade off for what little time was saved.
This is by no means a complete list. However, to avoid injury when using or cleaning the meat slicer always:
- Read the user manual and complete required training before operating the slicer.
- Inspect the equipment to ensure all safety devices and parts operate smoothly and efficiently.
- Pressure the product being sliced with the weight handle/food pusher Use the slicer in manual mode before selecting automatic.
- Follow all manufacturer and company instructions for cleaning the slicer.
- Set the slice thickness to zero when finished slicing and before cleaning.
- Turn off AND unplug slicer before cleaning.
- Wear cut resistant gloves when operating or cleaning.
Remember, before your start; take a MEMIC Minute for slicer safety. Check out these links on slicer safety and PPE: