Top 5 Safety Tips for Working With Machinist Tools
Machine shops might seem like dangerous places to work for those outside the industry, but danger only really pops up when machinists don’t follow safety protocols the way they should. The tools machinists use are inherently dangerous, given what they can do to materials much stronger than the human body. These are the most important safety tips for working with machinist tools that you need to follow diligently to keep everyone safe.
Extensively Train Employees on All Machines
Knowledge is the best defense to protect yourself against these tools. Even if one person doesn’t use a specific tool very often, they should still know how it works and what could go wrong with it. Everyone in the machine shop should be aware of how each tool functions as well as what needs to happen with that particular tool in an emergency situation to reduce potential harm.
Never Forego Personal Protection Equipment
Personal protection equipment cannot be overlooked, no matter how long you’ve been working with a specific tool. Certain PPE, such as masks or respirators, are essential for keeping yourself healthy in the long term. Other equipment, such as industrial work gloves and safety goggles, can protect a machinist in a worst-case scenario situation. PPE is more than a precaution for working with these tools—it’s a requirement.
Keep Tools Well Maintained
Many machine shop tools need regular maintenance to ensure they work as intended and present as little risk for a malfunction as possible. In the same way that a dull kitchen knife is actually more dangerous than a sharp one, machining tools that have been working for a long time are at a greater risk for an accident or malfunction than one that’s been well maintained.
Never Force a Stalled Machine
Machine shop tools are designed to do as much of the work for the machinist as possible. There should never be a situation where you have to use force in order to get a machine working again, even if it seems to have stalled or gotten stuck. Using force to fix an issue like this is a recipe for disaster. You’re much better off shutting the machine down and addressing the issue before you harm yourself or damage the machine.
Always Inspect Machines Before Use
Even if you’re the safest machinist known to man, there’s no guarantee that everyone around you follows the same safety protocols. Before you begin working with any machine, give it a thorough once-over to make sure it was shut down correctly and that there are no ongoing hazards. Inspecting a machine before use will benefit everybody involved in its use and doesn’t take very long at all.
These safety tips should make working with machinist tools a much less hazardous experience for you and anyone who comes after you. A little bit of precaution can go a long way toward creating a safer working environment.