From February’s Cutting Tool Engineering magazine, here are 5 easy steps from Tom Bonine, president of National Metal Fabricators, to ensure safety in Precision Machining environments. These are sound principles to be applied both in manufacturing workplaces or school labs:
1) Label everything in your facility. From chemicals to machines, make sure everything is properly labeled. Examples:
•a) Containers- Ensure the contents are identified along with safety risks.
•b) Machines- Labels should warn of specific risks, include shutdown procedures, and who is authorized to operate the machine.
2) Enforce a strict dress code that incorporates safety gear.
•a) Casual clothing is unacceptable as it may be loose or does not protect against chemicals and heat.
•b) Only clothing that protects the machine operator should be worn:
i) Safety goggles
ii) Helmets
iii) Work gloves
iv) Shoes
3) Reduce slip risks. People are probably not looking down at the floor when walking.
•a) Require spills to be cleaned immediately.
•b) The spill site should be identified with a sign or cone as it might remain slick.
•c) Identify areas prone to slickness, such as grease or oil that could be dripped from machines.
•d) Place anti-slip tape on ledges or steps to improve traction.
4) Remove obstacles from the floor.
•a) Prevent scraps or equipment from making their way into walkways.
•b) Enforce a policy that requires every item to have a designated spot.
•c) Stick to a daily cleaning schedule.
5) Limit access to machinery. Nothing can be more hazardous than an untrained user or employee tampering with equipment.
•a) Ensure dangerous areas are well identified.
•b) Physical barriers or lockout systems should be employed to prevent unwanted access.
•c) Machines should have safeguards that prevent the wrong people from turning them on and using them.

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