By law, CNC shops and operators are required to adhere to the safety rules that apply to CNC machining. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers guidelines and regulations for running a CNC shop, and operators who fail to follow them risk getting fines and penalties. Here are some of the general rules that companies must follow.
1. Operators Should Have Proper Training
Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining involves a technical process of controlling the motion of parts and tools through a computer software that uses numeric data. Whether a CNC shop has mills or lathes, the operators must be adequately trained to inspect, maintain, and use the machine, brand, and controller type. Being skilled in the programming of CAD and CAM programs is also essential for experienced users.
2. The Area Around the Machine Must Be Free of Obstacles
Before a machining or tooling process is initiated, the machinist must inspect the machine to remove any obstacles that may fly off and hit someone. The user must check the path of the router to ensure that there are no screws that can stay embedded in the project. The floor should be clear of sawdust and scraps to prevent any possible accidents.
3. Conducting a Dry Run Is Important
Before beginning the actual CNC machining process, the operator must conduct a trial run to ensure that all moving parts are set and configured correctly. Most machines have a lock feature that allows users to scan the program for mistakes. During this process, the spindle will run, the control will execute the program, and the turret will index. However, only the axes (X, Y and Z) will stay still.
4. Operators Must Dress Accordingly
Users should never wear gloves while operating the machine. Jewelry should be avoided as some can conduct electrical charges as well as getting caught in machinery. Wearing loose clothing is also prohibited since the operator risks getting pulled into the machinery, and this can be quite fatal.
In any workplace, safety comes first. Operators must understand all the safety features on the machine such as curtain guards, contact mats, guard fencing, soundproof casing, and emergency stop button operation to ensure a safe CNC machining operation.