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Prevention of Sharp Machine Tools in Garments

Sharp Tools

Examples of sharp tools are – Scissors, Clippers, Kimball/Tag guns, Knives, Drill hole spikes, Notch punchers, Tweezers, Cutting pins (if used on stripes, plaids and checks). All sharp tools are accounted for and issuing to the workforce by store officer with a cross reference to stock levels of that particular tool to ensure full traceability at all times. If any of the below are found in a garment, they can cause serious injury or a potential hazard to the ultimate customer, result in customer complaints as well as a possible serious fine, which can amount to thousands of money.

A garments Group is fully responsible to ensure that effective measures are in place to prevent any metal contamination such as:

  • Needle parts
  • Machine sewing needles
  • Hand sewing needles
  • Tag gun needles
  • Staples
  • Pins
  • Gimlet
  • stray clippers
  • Scissors
  • Cutters
  • Knife
  • Vertical Knife
  • Handy cutter
  • Bundling wire
  • Mechanic tools such as screwdrivers, hammers etc.
  • Broken glass
  • prong snaps
  • rivets
  • Hardware from machinery, such as nuts, bolts, screws etc.
  • personal effects or jewellery parts

Standard Operating Procedures for Sharp Tool Control

Sharp Tools:Sharp tools refers to metal and non metal components having sharp edge which may lead to injury or uneasiness/itching/irritation on contact.sharp machine tools

Garment industry uses Sharp tools extensively and thus it is very important to control the issue, movement and disposal of Sharp Tools properly and maintain the accountability for the same.

Various Sharp Tools being used in Garment Industry: Following are various sharp tools which are extensively used in the garment industry:

  • Sewing Needles
  • Thread Cutter
  • Scissor
  • Cutting Pins/ Notchers/ M/C Knife
  • Cutting Clamps
  • Loose Metal M/C Parts

Sharp Tool Control Practices:Below mentioned are set of industrial practices which need to be followed strictly to avoid any injury to any person (this includes both the categories of people; who are involved in manufacturing of the product and also the consumers who shall be purchasing and using/wearing the garment) and to avoid any chances of Sharp Objects being shipped.

  1. Usage of Sharp tools
    • All the cutters and scissors must be tied with a string and must not be kept loose on machine, table or in surroundings of work place. They can injure any individual or can cause damage to garments. Cutter/Scissors must be tied by using string of length that after hanging down from work place the distance from floor is 01 foot above the ground level.
    • All the M/C’s should be equipped with Eye Guard and Needle Guard to avoid any injuries to the workers.
    • Cutter man should always use metal gloves while using the straight knife machines.
  2. Storage of Sharp Tools
    • All the usable sharp tool items must be stored in Red Box provided in each cutting, sewing line and finishing line with lock and key arrangement. While those are not in use, no sharp tool can be kept at any other place other than defined Red Box.
    • At the time of use sharp tools must be tied and not to keep loose.
  3. Record of Issue and Receipt
    • Line manager has to keep a daily record of issuing sharp tools to individual and receiving those back. He must issue and receive against name and card of person.
    • This is applicable to cutters, scissors, cutting pins, metal clamps and hand gloves in cutting.
  4. Control on Issue and Receipt of Machine Parts
    • All the machine parts will be issued on exchange basis from main maintenance store.
    • No mechanic is authorized to keep any kind of machine part with him/her.
    • Issue of machine parts must be executed with requisition properly signed by factory GM.
  5. Needle Policy and Broken Needle control
    • Needles stock should be placed in the trims stores and locked away
    • Small stock of needles would be transferred to production floor to a designated person in charge.
    • All records must be maintained for six months
    • Replacement against broken needles has to be provided only after receiving all the parts of the broken needle.
  6. Accountability
    • The physically used needle should match our account whatever we issue in the production floor.
    • All the use needle should be keep in our record & maintain the quantity
  7. Metal Detection Control
    • Metal detection machine should be calibration two time morning & evening before start the production & keep the proper record.
    • All the garment should be checked detector machine before ship the garments, if found any garment not passed in our detector machine this garments should be kept & log as evidence in Red Box properly.

Prevention of Sharptools:

  • Means taking all reasonable steps to avoid any metal contamination in the first place.
  • In sample room and any manufacturing operation pins and wires are not being used. This includes securing, bundling, tacking components or packing of any products.
  • No pins may be used for bulletin/notice boards in the sewing plant.
  • In cases where metal components need to be to be used such as check fabric laying, the control of the use is ensured maintaining record.
  • Scissors/clippers and any other sharptools is securely fastened to the sewing machines and inspection tables/workstations.
  • It is ensured that the production plant is free of dangerous items such as broken glass, splinters etc., since these cannot be detected by the needle detection unit.
    Prevention of Sharptools
    Prevention of Sharptools
  • Maintaining a metal free environment.
  • To avoid stray metal and other components, small components (such as loose poppers, studs, rivets, zips etc.) are kept in appropriate containers.
  • Workers and mechanics are complying with the policy and products are being removed from an area if risk of contamination exists.
  • Any goods entering the factory are ensured as contaminant-free. It is therefore ensuring that the policy is passed up the supply chain to other suppliers. Trims and components are often secured with pins and suppliers of those raw materials are being asked to use an alternative such as tape.
  • Check that bulk trims ‘pass’ through the metal detector prior to use in production.
  • Any packaging is removing from outer packaging outside production areas to eliminate risks of product contamination.

Worksharptools Detection:

  • Worksharptools means to put additional checks in place to ensure the products are safe when shipped.
  • At final inspection garments are being turned inside out and pockets checked to avoid any loose components being trapped in them.
  • We require metal detection for all our products and it is mandatory for all children’s or kids wear orders, any nightwear, underwear or lingerie.
    Worksharptools Detection
    Worksharptools Detection

Control of Sharp Machine Tools:

  • Factory is following A ‘One in, one out’ distribution system  to minimize the loss of tools, potential injury to employee’s and the risk of tools being boxed in cartons and shipped and or lost in product presentation boxes and or pockets or lining of product.
  • All sharp tools are handing out to the workers by a nominated person (store officer) at the beginning of each shift and are collecting at the end of each shift. Counting and signed for by the store officer.
  • Kimball/Tag guns are individually numbered and named per worker.
  • This distribution system is being recorded (s. attached daily in/out log); detailing workers names, their signature and numbers of tool issued/returned and records are keeping for a minimum of 03 years for verification.
  • All tools are being securely attached to the workstation (machines, tables, benches and inspection areas) by cord or string as possible to tool type, but holes are being drilled through wooden handles and location and condition is being verified daily.
  • Scissors and clippers are not being worn around the neck or wrist as this is a safety hazard for the employee’s in case they trip and injure themselves.
  • we are following a documented control system for the issuing and collecting of scissors and clippers.
Machine Tools
Machine Tools
  • The employees will not remove their tools at break, lunch or dinner times in order to avoid them becoming lost or leaving the factory premises.
  • The floor supervisors are checking at least twice a day that they have not been removed without permission and keep a record of how many pairs have been issued, as per the count in/out log process.
  • Any blades or other sharp cutting tools are using within the factory floor maintaining proper sharp machine tools control policy. Snap blades are not permitted as they can break easily, cause injury and get lost in product, packaging and or cartons.
  • Metal is not using as sewing guides and or templates for pressing around to manage a shape, e.g. pockets. If guides are required thick card and or plastic is using. Cut thin metal can cause injury, split and break off into a small piece and become lost in product, packaging and or cartons, which may damage a product: or injure employees at our customer’s warehouse, stores or a customer.
  • The use of pins is not acceptable in any products of the and it is being avoided throughout the factory (incl. sample room, cutting, sewing, inspection, metal free zone, packaging or any other areas where garments/components are being handled).
  • Where pins are being using in packaging for meet up the requirement of a customer this is done in a separate area quarantined from any other production and the issue of pins is being controlled.
  • Pins/staples are not being using to assemble cartons.
  • The use of staples and staplers is being avoided in the factory environment. This includes incoming goods area, cutting room, sample room, metal free zone, and packing and is not being using on any paperwork used on the factory floor.
  • Threading wires are kept by the mechanic and if they are needed by the worker again they are kept in a controlled environment and counted in and out at the beginning and end of a working day by a nominated person.
  • Machinists is not being allowed to keep screw drivers or any other tool for altering machine settings in their machine draws, its are being kept at all times by the mechanic and or supervisor in charge authorized to amend machine settings.
  • Tools collected at the end of the day and spare parts (e.g. cutting blades) are always being kept away from the factory floor in a safe and secure environment, i.e. locked away in designated cupboards which only the store officer has access to. The record log of tool/spare part issue is being kept in the designated cup board.
  • The management is ensuring this sharp machine tools policy applied to embroidery, appliqué, printing etc. operations whether in house or at another site.

About Engr. Kh. Mashiur Rahman

He is Garment Automation Technologist and Editor in Chief of Autogarment. He is certified Echotech Garment CAD Professional-China, Aptech-India, NCC-UK and B.Sc. in CIS- London Metropolitan University, M.Sc. in ICT-UITS. He is working as a Successful Digital Marketer and Search Engine Specialist in RMG sector during 2005 to till now. Contact him- apparelsoftware@gmail.com

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