PLAYING with knives, or bandsaws, can cost you a finger.
However, new technology from Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) use’s a double fail-safe to ensure meat workers and butchers keep their digits.
MLA program manager automation and objective measurement, Darryl Heidke, said preventing injury was a high priority in the meat processing sector.
“People work at high speeds, close to their hands when they are cutting product,” he said.
“We have seen accidents happen.”
Mr Heidke said the initiative aimed to come up with a safer bandsaw.
“The piece of technology on display at Beef 2018 uses two safety devices,” he said.
“The first is a camera system, which picks up the blue glove being worn by the operator.”
Mr Heidke said as all operators in a processing plant would wear gloves for hygiene, simply by making them identifiable by the machine, accidents could be prevented.
“If the blue glove comes within a couple of millimetres of the blade,” he said.
“Say with their finger, the camera will pick up the glove and stop the saw before it cuts them.”
Mr Heidke said while effective, they felt a second fail-safe was required.
“The problem is,” he said.
“If you are cutting a piece of meat and your hand is underneath the meat.
“Thee camera cannot see the blue glove.
“You can still loose your fingers.
“So this device has a secondary fail-safe mechanism.”
Mr Heidke said a wire in the glove is attached to the operators skin which brings them into an electrical circuit.
The circuit is broken it the gloves are cut.
“If the circuit breaks, the machine will stop in one millisecond.
“One millisecond is enough time to stop the hand itself, from being cut.”