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Safeguarding paper converting and finishing machines in printing

The guidance in the following tables describes commonly accepted and practicable safeguards for the significant hazards on some paper converting and finishing machines used in printing industry, manufactured or refurbished before the publication of European Standard BS EN 1010-4:2000 Safety of machinery – Safety requirements for the design and construction of printing and paper converting machines: Bookbinding, paper converting and finishing machines.                        

For newer machines (manufactured or refurbished from November 2003) please refer to BS EN 1010-4 Standard. See also general safeguarding guidance on machinery safety in the printing industry.

Envelope-making machines
Hazard Safeguards
Envelope making machines (blank-fed and web-fed)
  • In-running roller nips
  • Gumming wheels
  • Knives
  • Reciprocating feed devices
  • Gear wheels
  • Collator drum- shear traps.
Interlocking side guards. Local interlocking or fixed guarding can also be used.  
In-running nips on folding rollers where safeguarded by tunnel-type guards may, in exceptional circumstances, have openings of 30 mm where the safety distance to the danger point is 200 mm.

Two-hand hold-to-run controls for setting - speed limited to 10 m/min and guard zoning provided or exceptionally: 

  • hold-to-run control,
  • guard zoning,
  • selector switch, and
  • safe system of work which includes using the slowest speed possible when using stroboscopes for fault finding.    
  • Reelstands on web-fed.

See standards for simple single reel unwinding and rewinding devices in Web-fed offset lithographic printing press safeguards

See rewinding paper safely guidance
  • Print units.
See Flexographic printing press safeguards
  • Feed plate or pillar on blank fed.
Local profiled guards for the draw, hook rollers and any score rollers.
  • Hinged gumming units.
Interlocked to prevent them being left out of position.
  • Seal flap, window and bottom flap gumming units access to in-running nips or contact with hot glues.
Enclosing interlocking guards may not be practicable as access may be needed to the glue bottles. A combination of fixed and interlocking guards can be used.
  • Glassine tissue knife and tissue applicator in-running nips.
  • Belt or pulley intakes.
Guard see risk assessment guidelines for in-running nips.
  • Delivery guarding.
  • Shear trap between the delivery table and drying drum.

Fixed tunnel guarding or by adjustable plates

Provide fixed or interlocking guards or a hinged table flap of at least 25 mm.
  • Profile cutting system and separating knife on web-fed machines.
Provide fixed or interlocking guards. Guarding should take account of the rundown times of the knives and the frequency of access which may necessitate the use of interlocking guards with guard locking.
Inserting machines
Hazard Safeguards
In-running nips or pinch points at feeders, transport device, drive mechanism   Fixed or interlocking guards
Tunnel-type guards with 550mm safety distance from nearest danger zone on automatic feeders 
Start up warning devices on machines over 7m
Machine start up with guards open for make ready acceptable if machine zoned, selector switch provided and hold-to run speed is slowest possible
Safe systems of work for operator and training
Emergency stop buttons 5m apart maximum
Shear traps between inserting disc carriages and control panels on automatic disc insertion equipment Locate control stations away from path of automatically moving discs of insertion material
Separate personnel and moving discs
Provide and maintain trip wire or pressure sensitive edge  on disc carriages
Integrity of the interface between the guarding devices and the programmable control systems for the disc carriages should be assessed 
Disc carriages should stop safely, without trapping operators or ejecting their load.
Counter stackers
Hazard Safeguards
  • In-running nips at feed and delivery belts
  • Crushing at waste separator
  • Shear from turntable movement 
Fixed or interlocking guards at feed or delivery belts
Safeguard waste separator by limiting closing force to 200 Newtons (N)
Fixed or interlocked guards which prevent access to turntable and enable safe removal of jams 
Guard openings and safety distances meet the requirements of BS EN ISO 13857 Safety of machinery – Safety distances to prevent hazardous zones being reached by upper and lower limbs
Opened interlocking guards depressurises the pneumatic system to prevent inadvertent movement of counter-stacker
Emergency stop which causes depressurisation automatically
Coaters - machines that apply a liquid substance (e.g. glue, varnish, ink)
Hazard Safeguards

In-running nips between guide rollers and guide rollers/fixed machine parts

Ensure minimum separation of 120 mm, or provide fixed/interlocked guards or nip bars
In-running nips between coating roller and cooling roller/coating roller  Fixed or interlocking guard
In-running nips between coated, tear-resistant web and guide rollers Provide fixed or interlocking guards where there is a wrapping angle of 45° or more
In-running nips at the dosing gap Fixed or interlocking guard or nip bars
In-running nips at the at the Teflon belt  Fixed or interlocking guard
Traps at traversing coating rollers/cooling rollers Maximum hold-to-run speed of 5 m/min or interlocking guards
Burns from contact with Hot melt material Fixed guards
Reel unwinding and rewinding units See standards for simple single reel unwinding and rewinding devices in Web-fed offset lithographic printing press safeguards
Unexpected start-up Provide start-up warning device where overall vision of the coater is restricted
Continuous flow dryers
Hazard Safeguards

Traps created when closing upper and lower parts of the dryer

Provide hold-to-run control. Automatic closing should only be possible for the last 300 mm of movement and safeguarded by trip bars.
Traps created by pneumatic or hydraulic opening mechanism Fit overridable safety-rated check valves to hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders. Use mechanical devices e.g. scotch to secure dryer open for maintenance. 
Unexpected start up Emergency stop buttons should be located at each operator position.
Laminators - machines that apply a solid substrate e.g foil onto paper
Hazard Safeguards
Foil laminators 

In-running nips at feed and delivery belts

Provide infilling between the belt and roller 
In running nips between guide rollers and guide rollers/fixed machine parts  Ensure a minimum separation of 120 mm between guiderollers/ fixed parts or provide fixed/interlocking guards or nip bars
In-running nips between the laminated, tear-resistant web and guide rollers  Provide fixed or interlocking guards where there is a wrapping angle of 45° or more
In-running nips at at the laminating roller  Provide fixed or interlocking guards. If web thickness is 18 mm or more, opening should not exceed 30 mm and the safety distance should be at least 200 mm.

Traps by movement of  traversing laminator roller during make-ready and cleaning

Maximum hold-to-run speed of 5 m/min or provide interlocking guards

Burns from Contact with hot Lamination rollers in hot-foiling

Fixed guards or interlocking guards

Cuts from cutting devices Fixed guards or interlocking guards
Unexpected start up Emergency stop buttons on control panels
Glue application

In-running nips at feed and delivery belts

Provide fixed or interlocking guards

between guide rollers and guide rollers/fixed machine parts

Ensure a minimum separation of 120 mm between guiderollers/ fixed parts or provide fixed/interlocked guards or nip bars

between the laminated, tear-resistant web and guide rollers

Provide fixed or interlocking guards where there is a wrapping angle of 45° or more

sheet fed rolls

Rollers have displacement of at least 25mm or roller contact is by own weight

glue rollers and dosing gap

Interlocking guards

at laminating rollers

Provide fixed or interlocking guards. If web thickness is 18 mm or more, opening should not exceed 30 mm and the safety distance should be at least 200 mm.

between pressing and guide rollers and pressing belt

Fixed guards, or by ensuring rollers are held in position by their own weight and have a displacement of at least 120 mm

between the upper and lower pressing belts at the infeed point Fixed or interlocking guards with a safety distance of at least 850 mm from an opening aperture of at least 120 mm to the point where there is at least 10 mm between the belts, or pressing rollers capable of displacement to a create a gap of 120 mm and with a maximum pressing force of 200 N at the 850 mm point
Rotary Knives Provide fully enclosed fixed guards
Trapping by opening and closing movement of the laminating rollers Where the travel path is more than 6 mm provide either a hold-to-run control not exceeding 5 m/min or interlocking guards
Crushing between the package stop and transport belt Interlocked or fixed guards if the maximum closing force exceeds 150 N.
Shearing point between the turning belt and transport belts Fixed guards
Updated: 2015-01-05