Unit 1
General Shop Safety

1.1 General Shop Safety

ll tools are dangerous if used improperly or carelessly. Working safely is the first thing the user or operator should learn because the safe way is the correct way. A person learning to operate machine tools must first learn the safety regulations and precautions for each tool or machine. Most accidents are caused by not following prescribed procedures. Develop safe work habits rather than suffer the consequences of an accident.

Most of the safety practices mentioned in this section are general in nature. Safety precautions for specific tools and machines are described in detail in the chapters along with the description of the equipment. Study these carefully and be on the alert to apply them.

EYE PROTECTION

Using eye protection in the machine shop is the most important safety rule of all. Metal chips and shavings can fly at great speeds and distances and cause serious eye injury. Safety glasses must be worn when working with hand cutting tools, since most hand cutting tools are made of hardened steel and can break or shatter when used improperly.

There are many different types of safety glasses available in the supply system; however, the ones that offer the best protection are the safety glasses with side shields. Safety goggles should be worn over prescription glasses.

HAZARDOUS NOISE PROTECTION

Noise hazards are very common in the machine shop. High intensity noise can cause permanent loss of hearing. Although noise hazards cannot always be eliminated, hearing loss is avoidable with ear muffs, ear plugs, or both. These are available through the local supply system or from the Occupational Health Clinic. Ear plugs must be properly fitted by qualified personnel.

FOOT PROTECTION

The floor in a machine shop is often covered with razor-sharp metal chips, and heavy stock may be dropped on the feet. Therefore, safety shoes or a solid leather shoe must be worn at all times. Safety shoes also have a steel designed to resist impact. Some safety shoes also have an instep guard.

GRINDING DUST AND HAZARDOUS FUMES

Grinding dust from abrasive wheels is made up of extremely fine particles of the metal and the wheel. Some grinding machines are equipped with a vacuum dust collector. When operating a grinder without a vacuum, wear an approved respirator to avoid inhaling the dust. Whenever possible, use coolant when grinding. This will aid in dust control. Grinding dust can be very dangerous to your health, especially beryllium or parts used in nuclear systems. These materials require careful control of grinding dust.

Metals such as zinc give off toxic fumes when heated above their boiling point. Inhaling these fumes may cause temporary sickness, or death. The fumes produced from lead and mercury are very harmful, as their effect is cumulative in the body and can cause irreversible damage. When unsure of the materials being machined, it is advisable to wear a respirator.

PROPER LIFTING PROCEDURES

Using improper lifting procedures may result in a permanent back injury. Back injury can be avoided if the correct lifting procedures are followed. When lifting heavy or large objects, get some assistance or use a hoist or forklift.

Objects within your ability can be lifted safely as long as the following procedures are followed:

ELECTRICAL SAFETY

Exposure to electrical hazard will be minimal unless the operator becomes involved with machine repair. The machine operator is mostly concerned with the on and off switch on the machine tool. However, if adjustments or repairs must be made, the power source should be disconnected. If the machine tool is wired permanently, the circuit breaker should be switched off and tagged with an appropriate warning statement. Most often the power source will not be disconnected for routine adjustment such as changing machine speeds. However, if a speed change involves a belt change, make sure that no other person is likely to turn on the machine while the operatorís hands are in contact with belts and pulleys.

SAFETY RULES FOR MACHINE TOOLS

Since different cutting tools and machining procedures are used on various machine tools, the safety precautions for each may vary. The following are general safety rules for any machine tool: