Four siders

Also known as a timber moulding machine, a four sider has at least four cutting heads so it can machine and shape long sides of timber in one pass.

While this guidance has not been updated to reflect current work health and safety legislation (the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and regulations), it may still contain relevant information and practices to keep workers and others healthy and safe.

Please read this guidance in conjunction with all relevant industry standards that apply to you as a PCBU. This guidance will be progressively reviewed and either updated, replaced with other guidance, or revoked.

Figure 1: Four sider

[Image] Open four sider with labels and red arrows pointing to operational, cutting and cover components

Hazards

  • Contact or impact from thrown timber
  • Contact with cutters
  • Noise
  • Dust
  • Slips, trips & falls
  • Unexpected movement (during maintenance, cleaning & adjustments)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Ear protection
  • Eye protection
  • Face protection
  • Dust protection

Tasks

Task – Cut and shape timber

Hazard

Contact or impact from thrown timber

Harm

  • Bruising
  • Fractures

Controls

  • KEEP cutters sharp, so their energy is used to cut, not push against the timber.
  • INSTALL sensors to detect whether timber is presented correctly to the cutters.
  • POSITION the machine to prevent timber hitting anyone.

Hazard

Contact with cutters

Harm

  • Deep cuts or amputation

Controls

  • FIT a bridge guard above the cutters. Width MUST be 11⁄2 times the width of the opening.

Other (non-mechanical) hazards

Hazard

Noise

Harm

  • Hearing damage or loss

Controls

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

A safe noise level over an eight hour day is 85dB(A). A four sider machine may exceed this noise intensity. Noise levels will be worse when the cabinet is open during set-up.

Hazard

Dust

Harm

  • Eye irritation or damage
  • Breathing problems, lung damage or cancer
  • Worsening of existing health problems

Controls

  • USE dust extraction equipment to minimise dust getting in the operator’s breathing zone.
  • ALWAYS USE respiratory protection.
  • ALWAYS WEAR eye protection.

Hazard

Slips, trips and falls

Harm

  • Trapping
  • Cuts
  • Bruising

Controls

  • KEEP up-to-date housekeeping procedures.
  • KEEP the area around four siders clear of slip and trip hazards.

Task – Maintenance, cleaning & adjustments

Hazard

Contact, impact or entanglement from unexpected movement

Harm

  • Crush injuries
  • Deep cuts or amputation
  • Fractures
  • Bruising

Controls

  • LOCK-OUT all power supplies before maintenance, cleaning or adjustments. This includes electrical, hydraulic, and pneumatic supplies.
  • BE AWARE that cutters may have significant overrun time after the power is turned off.
  • If braking time is greater than 10 seconds, owners should retrofit braking.

Download fact sheet

Four siders (PDF 753 KB)