Machine Shop Safety Rules and Practices


·        Personal Safety and Protection

o       Eye protection must be worn at all times

o       Only closed-toe shoes may be worn

o       Wear a dust mask when performing grinding or other operations that may generate fine airborne particles

o       Wear a short-sleeved shirt or roll up long sleeves above the elbow (Do NOT wear long, puffy or fuzzy shirts or sweaters)

o       If you have long hair, keep it up above your shoulders

o       Remove all dangling wrist jewelry before operating any of the machines

o       Use the shopvac to remove chips from a machine – do NOT use your hands

o       Gloves must not be worn around most machine tools, although their use is permissible when using cutting tools such as the table, band, or miter saws

o       When lifting heavy objects, lift with your legs, keeping your back straight

o       Respect the machines and what they can (and can’t) do – never, ever use the machines for anything other than what they were designed to do, and never tamper, alter, or play with the equipment!

o       “Horseplay” is never allowed in the machine shop!

o       If you should be injured, report it to your instructor immediately

o       Notify someone on the “Help and Emergency Call List” when there is an emergency

·        General Shop Hazards

o       Never use compressed air to blow chips away from a machine

o       Keep the floor clear of stock and tools, and clean spilled oils or coolants

o       Know where the fire extinguisher is kept and how to use it

o       Always keep machines turned off when making adjustments to them

·        Machine Hazards

o       Before using a machine, think about what you are going to do before doing it

o       Go over the following safety checklist before operating a machine:

1.      Am I familiar with the operation of this machine?

2.      What are the potential hazards involved with using this machine?

3.      Are all safety guards in place?

4.      Are my procedures safe?

5.      Am I doing something that I probably should not do?

6.      Have I made all the proper adjustments and tightened all locking mechanisms?

7.      Is the workpiece secured properly?

8.      Do I have proper safety equipment?

9.      Do I know how to turn off the machine quickly if necessary?

10.  Do I think about safety in everything I do?

·        Machine Shop Etiquette

o       Clean up the shop after every use!

o       Vacuum the floor and machines of all wood, plastic, or metal debris

o       Return all machine tools and accessories to their storage locations

o       Return all hand tools and equipment to locked cabinets or storage locations

o       Be sure the ventilator and all electrical equipment are turned off when you leave

o       Turn out the lights and lock the door to the shop when you leave


Note: Student work in the shop is limited to the hours that physics faculty/staff are available to supervise the activity.