Dough dividers used for small batch production operate on manual rather than mechanical action, with hazards isolated during division of dough.

Figure 1: Dough divider

Dough dividers

Tasks

Task – Feed & divide the dough

Hazard

Heavy lifting

Harm

  • Strain injury

Controls

  • USE mechanical lifting aids when necessary.
  • SECURE loads to prevent risk of materials falling.
  • ORGANISE work areas and storage to limit reaching.
  • ADJUST work surfaces or use platforms to get a comfortable working height.

Hazard

Entanglement from contact with dough divider and shear

Harm

  • Deep cuts or amputation
  • Crush injuries

Controls

  • FIX guards to the dough divider, prime movers and transmissions, to prevent reach.
  • DO NOT WEAR jewellery or loose clothing.
  • DISPLAY warning signs on equipment with moving equipment dangers.

Hazard

Climbing – potential falls
Unstable machines

Harm

  • Bruising
  • Fractures
  • Amputation
  • Death

Controls

  • If climbing is necessary, dividers MUST be fitted with folding steps interlocked with the divider to prevent hazardous motion.
  • Platforms and steps MUST be fitted with rails and handles.
  • The dough divider MUST be stable when a 100kg load is applied at the external edge of the step.
  • If steps are big enough for two people, the load MUST be 200kg.

Dough dividers should NOT have footholds or handholds that encourage climbing.

Other (non-mechanical) hazards

Hazard

Electrical currents

Harm

  • Electric shocks

Controls

  • TEST dividers regularly for electrical safety.

Hazard

Potential fire or explosion

Harm

  • Potential burn injuries
  • Smoke inhalation

Controls

  • KEEP up-to-date housekeeping procedures.
  • KNOW and DRILL a fire evacuation plan.
  • KEEP escape routes clear of storage and debris.
  • KEEP fire extinguishers close.
  • TURN OFF and UNPLUG electrical appliances when not in use. High temperature cut-off switches prevent equipment overheating.

Gas and electric heat sources in bakeries pose a fire risk.

Class C (Flammable gases). Class E (Electrically energised equipment). Class F (Cooking oils and fats)

Hazard

Flour dust

Harm

  • Asthma
  • Nose, throat and eye irritation
  • Sensitized skin through repeated exposure

Controls

  • Machinery MUST be controlled to hold flour as much as possible.
  • KEEP dust contained and controlled.
  • Use interlocked switches ENCLOSED and SEALED against dust and moisture.
  • USE dust extraction equipment to minimise dust getting in the operator’s breathing zone.
  • Vacuum cleaners MUST be designed for cleaning flour – blowing flour with compressed air will only move it elsewhere.
  • USE respiratory protection.
  • WEAR eye protection.

Interlock switches with mechanical parts such as rollers and tongues outside the body of the switch may become unreliable when dough and flour interferes with their moving parts.

Hazard

Hot oil, water, ingredients and surfaces

Harm

  • Burns/scalding

Controls

  • USE heat-resistant gloves or mitts for handling hot trays and pots.
  • DO NOT carry hot liquids around the work area and AVOID splashes when pouring them.
  • LABEL and GUARD hot water pipes and vessels.
  • KNOW first aid for minor burns: cool the area under running water and wrap loosely in sterile dressing.
  • KEEP a first aid kit.

Hazard

Slips, trips and falls

Harm

  • Contact or impact injuries
  • Bruising
  • Fractures

Controls

  • KEEP up-to-date housekeeping procedures.
  • CLEAN UP spills as early as possible, and display signage.
  • STACK materials neatly to keep walkways and production areas clear.
  • USE a degreasing solution on oil and grease spills.
  • USE slip-resistant floor coverings, and WEAR non-slip footwear.

Hazard

Noise

Harm

  • Hearing damage
  • Interference with spoken communication

Controls

  • REDUCE noise levels by isolating machines or enclosing within noise barriers.
  • ASSESS noise levels.
  • ARRANGE hearing screenings.
  • ALWAYS WEAR hearing protection.

Task – Maintenance, cleaning & repairs

Hazard

Contact, impact or entanglement from unexpected movement

Harm

  • Cuts
  • Bruising
  • Fractures

Controls

  • LOCK OUT ALL power supplies before maintenance, cleaning and repairs.
  • FIT guards to any additional devices used with the divider, such as a hoist or dough brake and proving conveyor.
  • TEST emergency stops and interlocks at the start of each shift.

Hazard

Contact with dough divider and shear

Harm

  • Deep cuts or amputation

Controls

  • LOCK OUT ALL power supplies before maintenance, cleaning and repairs.
  • FIT guards to any additional devices used with the divider, such as a hoist or dough brake and proving conveyor.
  • TEST emergency stops and interlocks at the start of each shift.

If additional safeguards are required, they MUST be fitted by a competent supplier working to recognised safety standards. Instructions MUST be provided in a language understood by operators.

Figure 2: Main features

Main features

Main features of a small hand fed dough divider:

Batches of dough are placed on the tray with the horizontal handle shown in figure 2. When the operator lowers the counterweighted vertical handle the dough is divided and formed into separate pieces as the tray oscillates.