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Shear Point

What Does Shear Point Mean?

A shear point is any location on a machine where two of its moving parts meet to shear an object in their path. Typically, one of the parts involved in a shear point is stationary while the other moves.

A shear points is also known as a cutting point.

Safeopedia Explains Shear Point

While some shear points are designed for cutting, others are incidentally created by the way the machine moves while performing other functions.

Shearing hazards are an especially serious concern when the machine operator needs to hold, insert, or withdraw materials at or near the shear point.

Hazards Associated with Shear Points

Injuries associated with shear points include lacerations, contusions, amputations, and broken bones. Once a body part is caught in a shear point, injury is inevitable due to the high speed of the moving parts.

There is a wide variety of machinery that feature hazardous shear points, including:

  • Power presses
  • Milling machines
  • Grinding machines
  • Shearing machines
  • Roll forming machines

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) 1910.212 standard details the machine guarding requirements for various types of machinery, including those with shear points.

Shearing Machine Operation

Shears are powered by different means. They can make use of mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, or manual energy. Mechanical power shears, for instance, use a ram that moves a non-rotary blade at a constant rate past the edge of a fixed blade. Stock is fed at the point of operation between the two blades and held in place while the machine cuts it.

Safety Precautions Near Shear Points

The shear blade and the area where the material is held down are the primary locations for cutting hazards. Precautions to keep operators safe include:

  • Training workers to make them aware of the shear points on the equipment
  • Inspecting machine guards and other safety equipment before work starts
  • Removing jewelry, tying up long hair, and avoiding loose fitting clothes while operating machinery
  • Labelling all shear points with warning signs
  • Following appropriate lockout/tagout procedure with all machinery
  • Completely shutting down any equipment before conducting maintenance procedures on it


Cutting Point

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