It there’s one place I would just as soon not enter, it’s a machine shop- there’s just too much going on!   Those who run any type of machinery, have to be very smart and very careful.  There are too many ways one can get injured around moving equipment, so we are going to mention some rules that apply to staying safe while working in this environment: 

1.      Shops should be kept clean.  Dirty, wet floors, tools left lying around, trash and debris should not be part of the picture.  A clean environment is a safe one.

2.      There should be enough space between machines and materials to maneuver.

3.      Walkways should be marked, to distinguish between work areas and safe walkways.

4.      There should be good ventilation in all machine shops.

5.      Be sure that flammable liquids are stored in closed containers.

6.      The correct type of fire extinguishers should be readily assessable:  Class A – Combination; Class B – Liquid Fuels; Class C- Electrical Fires.

7.      Persons with long hair/beards should tie them up in order not to get caught in a moving machine.  Do not braid long hair, as the entire hair could be pulled into a machine.

8.      Never wear jewelry, loose clothing, or gloves.  If you must wear gloves while preparing sharp materials, be sure to remove them before the machine is turned on.

9.      Open toe shoes (sandals) are forbidden in machine shops; steel toe boots are preferred.

10.  Never interfere with someone running another machine; their concentration may be disturbed, causing an accident.

11.  Understand the machine you are running.  Be completely familiar with it, and never leave it unattended.

12.  As in many other things, the buddy system is the safest.  Don’t be alone while running equipment.

13.  In cleaning your machine, do not use high-pressure air.  It can push chips into moving parts and cause wear on the machine.

14.  Wear the correct personal protective equipment, such as:

  •         Earplugs – protect your hearing based on the noise level of the equipment.
  •         Safety glasses, goggles, or faceshields – you must protect your eyes and face from flying objects, dust, etc. 
  •         In some shops where there are hoists to lift heavy objects, hardhats would also be required for safety.

Exercise caution when running machinery.  Work areas should have non-slip material for walkways, and all equipment should have working guards and covers.  There should be eyewash stations and first aid kits on hand.

   Machine tools can be hazardous- even for experienced machinists.  There are all kinds of opportunities in manufacturing, and it is a great trade to learn.  Just be very careful, as with many other occupations, we don’t have a replay button.