Slitting machines are a key component of many steel processing operations, helping to quickly and efficiently cut strips of steel to specific widths. However, as with any piece of machinery, it’s important to prioritize safety when using slitting machines. In this article, we’ll delve into the importance of slitting machine safety, including common hazards and safety tips, as well as specific machinery safety standards and how interlocks can help comply with these standards.

Common Slitting Machine Hazards


Slitting machines can present a number of hazards to workers, including moving parts, electrical components, and the risk of being struck by moving parts or objects. It’s important to identify and mitigate these hazards to prevent accidents and injuries. Some common slitting machine hazards include:



Workers can get caught in the moving parts of a slitting machine, potentially leading to serious injuries or even death. It’s important to keep loose clothing and long hair away from slitting machines and to use guards and barriers to prevent entanglement.

Electrical Shock


Slitting machines may have electrical components that can present a shock hazard if they’re not properly grounded or maintained. Workers should be aware of these components and take precautions, such as wearing protective equipment and avoiding contact with electrical components when possible.

Struck-By Accidents


Workers can be struck by moving parts or objects falling from slitting machines if they’re not aware of the system’s operation. It’s important to maintain good visibility and to stay clear of slitting machines when they’re in operation to reduce the risk of struck-by accidents.

Cutting Hazards


Slitting machines use sharp blades to cut steel, which can present a serious hazard to workers if they’re not used properly. It’s important to follow proper procedures when using slitting machines, including using guards and barriers to protect workers from the cutting blades.

Safety Tips for Slitting Machines

To keep workers safe around slitting machines, it’s important to follow some basic safety guidelines:


  • Guarding: One of the most effective ways to prevent slitting machine accidents is to use guards and barriers to keep workers away from moving parts and cutting blades. This can include fixed guards around conveyor belts and other moving components, as well as barriers to prevent workers from accessing dangerous areas.


  • Training: Proper training is crucial for keeping workers safe around slitting machines. This should include information on the proper use of the system, as well as how to identify and mitigate hazards.


  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance is important for ensuring that slitting machines are in good working order and operating safely. This can include checking for wear and tear, replacing damaged parts, and ensuring that electrical components are properly grounded and maintained.


  • Interlocks: Interlocks are a useful tool for ensuring that slitting machines are only operated when it’s safe to do so. These systems can be used to stop the slitting machine when a hazard is detected, such as a worker entering a hazardous area or an object falling onto the system.

The Importance of Complying with Safety Standards

Adhering to safety standards is crucial for preventing accidents and injuries in the workplace. When it comes to slitting machines, following safety standards helps to ensure that the machinery is designed and constructed in a way that minimizes the risk of accidents. It’s also important to regularly maintain and inspect slitting machines to ensure that they’re in good working order and operating safely.

Statistics on Slitting Machine Injuries

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, slitting machines were involved in 13 non-fatal injuries in the steel industry in 2019. These injuries ranged from lacerations and fractures to sprains and strains and could have been prevented with proper safety measures in place.

Fortress Safety has a team of application experts who can help you.

Our experts have the knowledge and experience to help you navigate the complex world of machinery safety and can provide guidance on everything from hazard identification to compliance with safety standards