Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

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June 30, 1976



MEMORANDUM FOR: Vernon A. Strahm Regional Administrator Region VII
Attention: B. D. Olson


This is in response to your memorandum dated April 29, 1976 concerning the application of 29 CFR 1910.242(a) to hand-operated paper cutters (trimming boards).

It is the consensus of the Division of Safety Programming and the Office of Standards Development that in addition to 29 CFR 1910.242 being applicable to the safe condition of hand-operated paper cutters, that 29 CFR 1910.212(a)(3)(ii) is also applicable to point of operation hazards.

As you know, the two most probable injuries occur from an operator dropping the blade unintentionally while the fingers are in the point of operation and the slipping of the hand holding the paper during the intentional downstroke of the blade. As a standard deterrent to injuries from these hazards, most manufacturers have included a spring load at the hinged section of the blade and a single rod barrier or shield attached to the board, the length of the blade. In addition, a latch is provided to lock the blade in a closed position when not in use so that the sharp edge will not be exposed. Photographs of typical paper cutters with guards are enclosed.

If we can serve you in the future, we shall be glad to do so.

Barry J. White
Associate Assistant Secretary
for Regional Programs