IX. Machine Tools


rev 2/2009

The use of stationary machine tools and powered hand tools is subject to the following requirements:

  1. Operate only those machines and power tools that you are authorized to use.
  2. Machine tools in the Machine Shop may only be used under the instruction and direct supervision of the Shop Technician. The Shop should be locked when the Shop Technician is not present.
  3. Student use of machine tools and power hand tools in other areas must be done under the instruction and direct supervision of a faculty or staff member familiar with the hazards and appropriate safeguards for the tool being used.
  4. Chose the right tool for the job. Makeshift or undersized tools are always a hazard.
  5. Eye protection must be worn at all times. Safety glasses with side shields meeting ANSI Standard Z87.1-89 are the minimum level of protection. Goggles may be advisable under certain situations.
  6. Closed shoes (toe and heel) with no perforations must be worn at all times in the Machine Shop and whenever using tools or moving heavy objects.
  7. Be sure all safeguards are in place and working before starting work. Guards as supplied by the manufacturer must be used when operating equipment. Fabricated tools guards must meet OSHA requirements.
  8. Check portable power tools for poor wiring or loose switches. Do not use a tool with a frayed cord or with the grounding prong removed.
  9. Chuck keys, calipers, gauges, and other tools should be removed immediately after use. Forgetting to do so may lead to the object becoming a projectile when the machine is started.
  10. Never wear gloves, wristwatches, rings, bracelets, or other jewelry while operating machinery. Long hair and loose clothing must be controlled near operating machinery. Rags, drawings, hand tools, lubricant containers and other loose objects should be keep away from moving machine parts and machine surfaces that may vibrate during machine operation.
  11. Use a vise or clamps to secure the work when possible.
  12. When using portable tools do not overreach. Keep good balance and proper footing at all times.
  13. Be aware of potential hazards in your work area. Don't overlook the hazards and workspace requirements of others working nearby. When operating power tools in a strange environment check for flammable liquids, combustible materials and other hazards before beginning work.
  14. Keep out of the way of things that may be thrown by machinery. Some machines produce large amounts of debris. Debris not caught by the machine's dust collection system may be propelled out of the machine in a particular direction and distract or obstruct the vision of the operator. Some machines may also eject stock material under some circumstances. Table saws and wood jointers for example will eject wood stock in the direction of the rotation of the blade if the material is improperly feed. These machines should be operated from one side, minimizing any possible hazards.
  15. Chips and debris should be cleaned with a brush and not with compressed air or by hand.
  16. The machining of pyrophoric metals (such as magnesium) or toxic metals (such as beryllium, cadmium, lead, osmium) requires special precautions. Any work on these types of materials should be discussed with the Shop Technician and Director of Environmental Health and Safety.
  17. Do not remove stock or reach near any moving parts of a machine until those parts have come to a complete stop. Turning the machine "off" does not immediately halt the hazardous motion of many machines.
  18. Machine adjustments or lubricating may be done while the machine is operating only if no safeguards are removed or bypassed and only if the operator is not exposed to any hazardous energy.
  19. Maintenance and repair of machine tools should be done by the Shop technician or Facilities Management. Servicing must be done in accordance with the Mount Holyoke College Lockout/Tagout Program.

If you have questions regarding OSHA guarding requirements or the Mount Holyoke College Lockout/Tagout Program, contact the Director of Environmental Health and Safety.