Case Description

Alligator shears are hydraulically powered shears commonly used in the metal recycling industry to cut off portions of waste metal in order to isolate a certain type of metal.  For example, alligator shears are used to separate the copper tubing from the aluminum or steel end caps on a heat exchanger.  In this case, a worker at a recycling center was using an alligator sheer when he cut off his fingers.

Steps Taken:

  • ARCCA’s expert inspected the site and the evidence alligator shear.
  • During the evidence examination, the shear noticeably had no guard, but there were mounting points and provisions for a guard.
  • During the engineering research of the shear, it was discovered that the alligator shear came from the manufacturer with a point of operation guard.

Final Findings:

Based on the site and evidence inspection and engineering research, the cause of the incident was the removal of the point of operation guard.  The guard would have prevented the operator from inadvertently having his hand in the line of action of the shear while holding onto the part that was being cut.