Slitter blade maintenance | Pulp & paper safety

In the pulp and paper industry, maintenance workers and millwrights are constantly exposed to cut and laceration hazards on their hands and arms during slitter-blade change-outs and other blade maintenance operations and slabbing.

While reducing cuts and slashes were a priority, giving these specialized workers the exact dexterity and feel required to remove and replace blades efficiently was the key to providing the right PPE for the job.

The challenge of changing out sharp slitter blades

Changing out circular slitter blades like this is hazardous work for pulp and paper millwrights. Working in confined spaces surrounded by sharp blades increases the exposure to cuts and lacerations for both hands and arms – it also demands PPE that allows maximum dexterity and feel to perform blade change-outs quickly and efficiently.

HexArmor® finds solutions for tough maintenance tasks

Working with paper-mill industry leaders like Weyerhaeuser, Georgia Pacific, and RockTenn, HexArmor® provided a full range of protective glove and arm guard solutions to mitigate millwright and maintenance crews’ risk of cuts and lacerations in handling and replacing straight edge doctor blades and circular slitter blades.

HexArmor® discovered that maintenance workers had traditionally used leather gloves or gloves made of materials that offered no more than ANSI/ISEA level A2 (less than 1000 grams) cut protection in these tasks.

In cases where manufacturers had mandated improved PPE like Kevlar®, trials of Kevlar® gloves failed – rejected by unions and workers because of insufficient cut protection, poor fit, and unacceptable dexterity and grip characteristics.

Since maintenance workers and millwrights play such a critical role in keeping production lines running, having the right level of protection and dexterity is key to a stronger and safer paper and pulp facility.

Slitter blades and other circular blades can come in many different sizes, weights, and can be saturated with grease or have no coating at all. With a variety of hazards in play, it is critical to keep the workers in the best protection for the application.

To ensure the protection and quality of our HexArmor® PPE, we test to higher levels of cut resistance and field test products for industrial puncture protection from wires, wickers, slivers, and glass.

Since dexterity and grip requirements vary per specific application, we leveraged our relationships with industry leaders in paper and pulp mills to adjust recommendations based on company and plant-specific needs.

Product solutions

Helix® 2080

This glove has been our most successful solution in the pulp and paper industry.

The Helix® 2080 offers ANSI/ISEA level A6 cut protection in a 13-gauge Kevlar® and steel blend shell, combined with a foam nitrile palm dip to deliver a solid grip and exceptional dexterity.

Chrome Series® 4018

HexArmor’s Chrome Series® 4018 delivers ANSI/ISEA level A6 cut protection as well as enhanced comfort that companies and workers need. Plus, the synthetic leather palm replicates the feel and grip of gloves that had been traditionally used in pulp and paper millwright applications.

Chrome Series® 4023

HexArmor’s Chrome Series® 4023 is a full coverage ANSI/ISEA level A8 cut-resistant mechanics glove that addresses the need for both palm coverage and back of hand protection for blade changing and slabbing.

HexArmor® arm protection

HexArmor® arm guards with SuperFabric® provide industry-leading ANSI/ISEA level A7-A8 cut resistance that is upwards of four times more cut-resistant than Kevlar® arm guards and 100 times more puncture-resistant, making them the ideal solution for slabbing and changing chipper knives.

Learn more about SuperFabric® brand material

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