Safety Awareness

Most machinists go their entire career with no serious injury even though they work with many different machines that expose them to risks. Machinists are, by nature and training, careful and methodical. They learn from experience an attitude of safety awareness and respect for equipment. Knowing that ignorance can hurt you is essential to cultivating an attitude of safety.

It is true that CNC machines are generally safer than manual machine tools. They are usually completely enclosed, which reduces the risk of flying chips, debris from broken tools, or contact with a spinning tool. Yet machine shops are inherently dangerous places that are unforgiving of any carelessness, ignorance, or neglect.

Cutting tools, and the chips they produce, are sharp. Chips ejected from the machine can cause eye injuries. CNC machines can move over one foot in less than a second. Any physical contact with a spinning tool will result in serious cuts or worse. Remember, if it can cut metal it can cut skin and bone just as easily.

Here are some examples where a failure to know or apply shop safety rules caused injury: