How to stay safe while using your CNC plasma machine

August 16, 2017

Safety first!

An injured worker does your company, and themselves, no good. It’s simply the right and high-integrity thing to do when you look out for your workers’ safety. When they feel you care about them, you’ll also get better productivity and stronger teamwork. If your workers don’t feel like you care, then you set yourself up for conflict, stress, lowered productivity, missed deadlines, and angry customers.

So what should your workers know and do when they use your CNC Plasma machine? Hopefully most of this sounds like review.

Here’s a few tips to get you started:

1. Protect Yourself from Sparks

First, your employees should protect their eyes with safety goggles that have a side shield, at minimum. Ideally, they wear a helmet or face shield to remove all doubt of having sparks hit their eyes. This also protects their eyes from experiencing damage due to the bright plasma cutting light.

Their clothing and gloves should also be flame-resistant. Leather, wool, or heavy denim work very well to protect your body from sparks. If your employees smoke, they shouldn’t carry matches or butane lighters with them. High-top leather shoes or boots should be worn to keep sparks from hitting their feet.

2. When Your Plasma Cutting Machine is in Use

Plasma gets so hot that ideally you have at least 25 feet between the cutter arc and anything else. The gases released from plasma cutting can also be harmful. So, you must have proper ventilation and wear a respirator while doing the work.

If your employees are working on a coated metal like galvanized steel (or any other coated metal), use a grinder to remove the coating before cutting. Heating up the coating with plasma cutting releases noxious toxic fumes.

If you have to cut the coated material, your employee should wear a respirator to do the work.

3. Keep Yourself Grounded

Your employees should always wear rubber gloves, in addition to their welding gloves, as they cut to avoid electric shock. They should never cut if the environment seems even the slightest bit damp.

Your plasma cutting machine should already be wired and grounded by an electrician.

As your employee does their cutting, they should stand on top of a rubber mat. As long as you follow those plasma cutting basics, you and your employees will be safe and productive.

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