Safety Precautions For Lathes

1. In machining operations, there is one sequence of events that one must always follow: SAFETY FIRST, ACCURACY SECOND, AND SPEED LAST. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the more important safety precautions that should be observed before and during lathe operations.

2. Lathe accidents are usually caused by:

  • Loose clothing snagging on the revolving workpiece, the chuck, or the workpiece.
  • Flying chips entering the eye when turning cast iron or nonferrous metals.
  • Contact of the hands or arms with the lathe dog, chuck or workpiece.

3. The operator should prepare himself by rolling up his shirt sleeves and removing watches, rings, and other jewelry that might become caught while he is operating the machine.

4. The operator should be sure to wear safety glasses or a face shield of the approved type at all times when operating a lathe or when in the area of lathes that are in operation.

5. The operator should be sure that the work area is clear of obstructions that one might fall over or trip on.

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6. On turret lathes, care must be taken not to catch loose or torn clothing on a stock that is supported in the collet with chucks and extends beyond the headstock of the lathe.

7. If a coolant or cutting oil is used, the operator should take care when adjusting the splash pans to prevent the liquid from splashing on the floor. The cutting oil or coolant can make the floor beneath the lathe slippery and cause the operator to lose his balance and suffer injury.

8. The operator will keep the floor around the machine clear of oil or grease to prevent anyone from slipping and falling into the machine.

9. The operator should use assistance when handling heavy or awkward parts, stock, or machine accessories. Never remove chips with your bare hands; a pair of pliers, a hook, or a brush should he used. (Stop the machine while removing the chips.)

10. The operator should prevent long chips from being caught in the chuck by using good chip control procedures.

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11. The operator should never try to stop the machine with his hands or body.

12. The operator will turn the machine off before talking to anyone.

13. The operator should know how to stop the machine quickly if an emergency arises.

14. The operator must be attentive, not only to the operation of the machine, but the events going on around it.

15. The operator should be alert to the location of the cutting tool while taking measurements or making adjustments to the machine. He should see that the work and the cutting tools clear each other and that they are clamped securely before starting the machine.

16. The operator will remove the centers and the cutting tools when not being used, and always observe the specific safety precautions posted for the machine in which you are operating.