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Safety Information

Safety Information


In the UK, guidance pertaining to the standards of the safety equipment and for the safe operation of paper cutting guillotines is contained in a document issued by the Printing Industry Advisory Committee, (P.I.A.C) and endorsed by the national Health & Safety Commission.

The first PIAC document was published in 1988, with a subsequent revision in 1999 titled "The Guide to Safe Use of Power-Operated Paper Cutting Guillotines" (ISBN 0-7176-1707-6), available from HSE Books.

The advice in the book is divided into five sections:

  • Section 1 - gives information on machine and safe guard types, hazards and accidents.
  • Section 2 - gives advice for the user.
  • Section 3 - gives advice on competencies*
  • Section 4 - gives information on the technical standards for existing and second hand machines.
  • Section 5 - gives information and advice for manufacturers and the suppliers of new machines.

Guillotine Owners/Users should pay particular attention to Section 2 Page 20, where the legal requirements pertaining to guillotine safety are laid out.

For older guillotines, compliance with the PIAC guidance, will ensure that users responsibilities under the following regulations will be met:

  • The Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations.
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.
  • The Provision and Use of Work Equipment 1998 (PUWER 98).
  • The Requirements of Section 2, sub-section 2a, of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

For new machines manufactured after July 2002, for use within the EEC: 

  • The Standards contained in EN1010 Part 3 "Safety of Machinery" - Cutting Machines, shall apply.
  • The P.I.A.C. "The Guide to Safe use of Power Operated Paper-cutting Guillotines", 1999, should also be consulted. 

i.e. a combination of technical knowledge, awareness and experience that should be acquired by guillotine engineers so that they can effectively fulfil their responsibilities.


Hand-fed platens are high-risk machines. Their use is covered by the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).1 The action you need to take to comply with these regulations will largely depend on the size of the machine, together with how it is used. The key test is whether whole-body access between the platens is reasonably foreseeable.

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