Thickness and surface planer machines: hazard identification

Hazard identification and risk management strategy for thicknessing and surface planer machines.

The following table is a risk management strategy for thicknessing and surface planer machines.

Risk management identifies hazards that can expose a worker to the risk of injury, and records the measures used to remove or reduce the level of risk.

Risk management strategy

Hazard identification

Risk factors

Risk control measures


Cutting, laceration

  • Access to the cutters during maintenance (cutters are fully enclosed in machine housing)
  • Premature start-up of the planer
  • Operator exposing hands in feeding process
  • Fully enclosed cutters are accessed by removing bolts securing the covers or using the electronic interlock device
  • Automatic guard fitted and correctly adjusted
  • Fixed guard provided behind the fence
  • Keeping both hands firmly on the top of the timber piece or, if necessary using the appropriate push block


Crushing from transmission drive

  • Access to internal area of machine
  • Fixed guarding encloses all transmission and associated moving parts


Object being thrown by the cutter or sander

  • Timber is lifted off the work table during cutting
  • Anti-kickback device fitted to the machine and maintained
  • Safety glasses are worn by the operator
  • Operator stands to the side of the work piece
  • Push block of suitable proportions should be used with heel stop


Manual handling when feeding the planer

  • Variation in material size, shape and weight
  • Store raw materials at appropriate height to avoid the need for bending or twisting
  • Use a second person or trolley to guide a long or large piece from the machine


Slips, trips and falls

  • Obstructed or cluttered work area around the machine
  • Slippery and uneven floor surface
  • Maintain a clear work space in and around the machine
  • Provide non-slip floor surfaces that give a firm foothold


Airborne contaminants (eg dust and vapours)

  • High speed cutting action
  • Ventilation/extraction system poorly maintained
  • Provide and maintain local exhaust ventilation
  • Wear protective personal equipment (ppe) such as face masks
  • Regularly vacuum dust and sawdust
  • Note: do not use compressed air to remove dust from skin or clothing


Noise from machinery operation and production processes

  • Different woods creating varying noise levels when being processed
  • Various machines in the area operating simultaneously
  • Local acoustic dampening to reduce noise levels
  • Hearing protectors used by all people accessing the workshop
  • Warning signs erected in the workshop

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