OSHA's latest Safety and Health Information Bulletin warns landscaping employers and workers of the hazards involved in using stone-cutting machines and explains methods to eliminate or reduce the risk of injury when operating these types of machines.
The SHIB is based on an investigation by OSHA's Englewood, Colo., Area Office of a landscaping products company that found that many of the available stone cutters pose amputation hazards because these machines are not typically designed with adequate machine guarding to prevent the operator from reaching into the point of operation.
OSHA worked with the stone splitter manufacturer and the landscaping company to retrofit the machine with two-handed controls, which prevents worker access to the point of operation. If the operator removes either hand from either of the controls, the blades will stop immediately. The modification was easily engineered, relatively inexpensive, and readily accepted by the operators.