No matter how large or small your CNC machine is, it’s important to remember that it’s still a machine. Many hazards come with operating these machines such as sharp edges, rotating shafts, fast-moving components such as belts, and more. If not used properly, these machines can cause serious harm. Here are a few tips to safely operating a CNC machine.
Understand How the Machine Works
Before you begin working with any machine, it’s crucial to go in with knowledge of how that particular machine works. You should be trained on how to use the machine before you begin your task. It sounds simple; however, it’s a common issue that some companies allow untrained employees to operate CNC machines with no prior training. Having proper training and knowledge can significantly prevent any unnecessary accidents from happening on the job.
Wear Protective Gear
CNC machines can be dangerous, for example, rotating parts can grip loose clothing which can cause a hand or arm to potentially be severely injured. One tip is always to wear protective glasses when operating a CNC machine as there could be sparks, flying metal pieces or even coolant splashes that could make contact with eyes. Some machines also require wearing a hard hat to protect any falling objects or hairnets to prevent hair from being caught in the machinery. If you’re working with a loud machine, wear hearing protection to protect your ears from any damage. Before working with a machine, be sure to ask your supervisor the best safety protocols to follow.
Before You Operate
There are a few steps to take before you begin operating the machine. A brief list of these tasks include:
- Ensuring the machine isn’t running when you load in a tool magazine
- Make sure the machine is clean to reduce cuts and burns
- Double-check that the right tool data is set for the program and that the tools are set correctly
- Never use damaged tools, the tools should be sharp and free of any cracks or chips