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Poultry Processing Industry eTool
Plant-Wide Hazards
Receiving and Killing
Cutting and Deboning

Support Task: Knife Person

Knives and ScissorsA knife person collects dull knives from employees along the processing lines and replaces them with sharp ones. This employee may also sharpen knives that have been collected.

Hazards of this task may include:

Slips, trips, and falls
Hazardous Situation:
Workers walk all over the facility on wet floors that may have bird skin, bird parts, and ice on them, creating a slipping hazard. Metal drain covers on the floor are also very slippery and pose a hazard. A falling worker may contact dangerous equipment, or cut him/herself on a knife blade.
Possible Solutions:
  • Cover drains with non-slip grating.
  • Provide workers with non-slip footwear and require its use.
  • Paint floors with slip-resistant paint or install non-slip floor tile.
  • Provide guardrails at workstations adjacent to dangerous equipment to prevent injury.
  • Carry knives in sheaths or closed containers.
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Hazards from use of grinders
Hazardous Situation:
Employees may suffer cuts, lacerations, skin abrasion, contusions, or eye damage during use of grinders to sharpen knives. Grinding wheels may break up or explode. Bits and pieces of knife blades may be thrown off during sharpening.
Possible Solutions:
  • Use safety goggles or other protective eyewear.
  • Use only grinding wheels with rpm rating matching the spindle speed of the grinder.
  • Use ring test procedure to check for non-visible damage to the grinding wheel.
  • Follow manufacturers recommendations for guarding and use of the grinding wheel.
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