17.0 SHOP SAFETY
The following sections provide general guidelines and
requirements for shop safety. This chapter covers the following
17.2 General Shop
The hazards associated with shop work require special safety
considerations. Whether you work in a metal shop, wood shop,
automotive shop, glass shop, or electrical shop, the potential
hazards for personal injury are numerous. This chapter highlights
essential safety information for working in a UTIA shop. Refer to
other chapters in this manual, including General Safety, Electrical Safety
and Fire/Life Safety for more information on handling many shop
The linked table highlights common
17.2.1 Personal Protection
There are several measures you must take to protect yourself
from shop hazards. For example, do not wear the
following when working around machinery:
|Loose fitting clothing|
If you must wear a long sleeved shirt, be sure the sleeves are
rolled down and buttoned. Snug fitting clothes and safety shoes
are essential safety equipment in the shop.
Make certain that long hair is not loose,
but is pulled back away from equipment.
Always wear safety glasses with side shields when working with
shop equipment. Additional protection using goggles or face
shields may be necessary for the following types of work:
|Grinding, chipping, sandblasting|
Wear suitable gloves, preferably leather, when working with
|Scrap metal or wood|
Refer to the Personal Protective Equipment chapter in this
manual for more information.
17.2.2 Job Safety
Before beginning work in a shop, be sure you are authorized to
perform the work to be done and inspect your tools and equipment.
If a procedure is potentially hazardous to others in the area,
warn fellow workers accordingly. Use warning signs or barriers,
Notify your supervisor/professor if you notice any unsafe
conditions such as the following:
|Defective tools or equipment|
|Improperly guarded machines|
|Oil, gas, or other leaks|
Inform other employees if you see an unsafe work practice;
however, be careful not to distract a person who is working with
17.2.3 Safety Guidelines
Follow these guidelines for general shop safety:
- Know the hazards associated with your work. Be sure you
are fully educated on the proper use and operation of any
tool before beginning a job.
- Always wear appropriate safety gear and protective
- Wear nitrile gloves when cleaning with degreasers or
ferric chloride (latex gloves do not provide adequate
- Ensure that there is adequate ventilation to prevent
exposure from vapors of glues, lacquers, paints, and from
dust and fumes.
- Maintain good housekeeping standards.
|Keep the work area free from slipping/tripping hazards (oil,
cords, debris, etc.)|
|Clean all spills immediately|
|Remove sawdust, wood chips, and metal chips regularly|
|It is recommended that electrical cords pull down from an
overhead pulley rather than lying on the floor|
- Leave tool and equipment guards in place.
- Know where fire extinguishers are located and how to us
- Make sure all tools and equipment are properly grounded
and that cords are in good condition.
|Double-insulated tools or those with three-wire cords are
essential for safety|
|Use extension cords that are large enough for the load
- Secure all compressed gas cylinders. Never use compressed
gas to clean clothing or skin.
- Always use flashback arresters on cutting/welding torches.
- Take precautions against heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
- Wear infrared safety goggles when appropriate.
The Safety Office periodically inspects all UTIA shops. Refer
any questions regarding shop safety to the Safety Office.
17.3 Hand Tools
Hand tools are non-powered tools. They include axes, wrenches,
hammers, chisels, screw drivers, and other hand-operated
mechanisms. Even though hand tool injuries tend to be less severe
than power tool injuries, hand tool injuries are more common.
Because people take everyday hand tools for granted, simple precautions for safety are easily
The most common hand tool accidents are caused by the
|Failure to use the right tool|
|Failure to use a tool correctly|
|Failure to keep edged tools sharp|
|Failure to replace or repair a defective tool|
|Failure to safely store tools|
IMPORTANT: Use the
right tool for the job to complete a job safely, quickly, and
Follow these guidelines for general hand tool safety:
- Wear safety glasses whenever you hammer or cut,
especially when working with surfaces that chip or
- Do not use a screwdriver as a chisel. The tool can slip
and cause a deep puncture wound.
- Do not use a chisel as a screwdriver. The tip of the
chisel may break and cause an injury.
- Do not use a knife as a screwdriver. The blade can snap
and cause an injury.
- Never carry a screwdriver or chisel in your pocket. If
you fall, the tool could cause a serious injury. Instead,
use a tool belt.
- Replace loose, splintered, or cracked handles. Loose
hammer, axe, or maul heads can fly off defective handles.
- Use the proper wrench to tighten or loosen nuts. Pliers
can chew the corners off a nut.
- When using a chisel, always chip or cut away from
- Do not use a wrench if the jaws are sprung.
- Do not use impact tools, such as chisels, wedges, or
drift punches if their heads are mushroom shaped. The
heads may shatter upon impact.
- Direct saw blades, knives, and other tools away from
aisle areas and other employees.
- Keep knives and scissors sharp. Dull tools are more
dangerous than sharp tools.
- Iron and steel hand tools may cause sparks, which are
hazardous around flammable substances. Use spark-resistant
tools made from brass, plastic, aluminum, or wood when
working around flammable hazards.
Improper tool storage is responsible for many shop accidents.
Follow these guidelines to ensure proper tool storage:
- Have a specific place for each tool.
- Do not place unguarded cutting tools in a drawer. Many
hand injuries are caused by rummaging through drawers
that contain a jumbled assortment of sharp-edged tools.
- Store knives or chisels in their scabbards.
- Hang saws with the blades away from someone's reach.
- Provide sturdy hooks to hang tools on.
- Store heavy tools, such as axes and sledges, with the
heavy end down.
17.4 Power Tools
Power tools can be extremely dangerous if they are used
improperly. Each year, thousands of people are injured or killed
by power tool accidents. Common accidents associated with power
tools include abrasions, cuts, lacerations, amputations, burns,
electrocution, and broken bones. These accidents are often caused
by the following:
|Touching the cutting, drilling, or grinding components|
|Getting caught in moving parts|
|Suffering electrical shock due to improper grounding,
equipment defects, or operator misuse|
|Being struck by particles that normally eject during
|Touching hot tools or workpieces|
|Falling in the work area|
|Being struck by falling tools|
When working around power tools, you must wear personal
protective equipment and avoid wearing loose clothing or jewelry
that could catch in moving machinery. In addition to general shop
guidelines, follow these guidelines for working with power tools:
- Use the correct tool for the job. Do not use a tool or an
attachment for something it was not designed to do.
- Select the correct bit, blade, cutter, or grinder wheel
for the material at hand. This precaution will reduce the
chance for an accident and improve the quality of your
- Keep all guards in place. Cover exposed belts, pulleys,
gears, and shafts that could cause injury.
- Always operate tools at the correct speed for the job at
hand. Working too slowly can cause an accident just as
easily as working too fast.
- Watch your work when operating power tools. Stop working
if something distracts you.
- Do not rely on strength to perform an operation. The
correct tool, blade, and method should not require
excessive force. If undue force is necessary, you may be
using the wrong tool or have a dull blade.
- Before clearing jams or blockages on power tools,
disconnect from power source. Do not use your hand to
clear jams or blockages, use an appropriate tool.
- Never reach over equipment while it is running.
- Never disable or tamper with safety releases or other
- When the chance for operator injury is great, use a push
stick to move material through a machine.
- Disconnect power tools before performing maintenance or
- Keep a firm grip on portable power tools. These tools
tend to "get away" from operators and can be
difficult to control.
- Never leave chuck key in chuck.
- Keep bystanders away from moving machinery.
- Do not operate power tools when you are sick, fatigued,
or taking strong medication.
- When possible, secure work pieces with a clamp or vise to
free the hands and minimize the chance of injury. Use a
jig for pieces that are unstable or do not lie flat.
Moving machine parts must be safeguarded to protect operators
from serious injury. Belts, gears, shafts, pulleys, fly wheels,
chains, and other moving parts must be guarded if there is a
chance they could contact an individual.
As mentioned before, the hazards associated with moving
machinery can be deadly. Hazardous areas that must be guarded
include the following:
- Point of operation. Area where the machine either cuts,
bends, molds, or forms the material.
- Pinch/nip point. Area where moving machine parts can trap,
pinch, or crush body parts (e.g., roller feeds,
intermeshing gears, etc.)
- Sharp edges.
There are three types of barrier guards that protect people
from moving machinery. They consist of the following:
A fixed guard is a permanent machine part that completely
encases potential hazards. Fixed guards provide maximum operator
Interlock guards are connected to a machine's power source. If
the guard is opened or removed, the machine automatically
disengages. Interlocking guards are often preferable because they
provide adequate protection to the operator, but they also allow
easy machine maintenance. This is ideal for problems such as jams.
Self-adjusting guards change their position to allow materials
to pass through the moving components of a power tool. These
guards accommodate various types of materials, but they provide
less protection to the operator.
must be in place. If a guard is removed to perform maintenance or
repairs, follow lockout/tagout procedures. Replace the guard
after repairs are completed. Do not disable or move machine
guards for any reason. If you notice that a guard is missing or
damaged, contact your supervisor and have the guard replaced or
repaired before beginning work.
power tools typically have less guarding in place than stationary
power tools. Use extreme caution when working with hand-held
power tools and always wear a face shield.
Tool Specific Safety Guidelines
In addition to the safety suggestions for general power tool
usage, there are specific safety requirements for each type of
tool. The following sections cover safety guidelines for these
types of tools:
17.5 Welding and
Welding and cutting are two forms of hot metal work that
require special safety considerations. Unless they are done in a
designated shop area, welding and cutting are strictly prohibited
without proper authorization.
Before conducting welding or cutting operations, inspect your
equipment for the following:
- Welding leads must be completely insulated and in good
- Cutting tools must be leak-free and equipped with proper
fittings, gauges, regulators, and flashback devices.
- Oxygen and acetylene tanks must be secured in a safe
In addition, follow these guidelines for most welding and
- Conduct welding and cutting operations in a designated
area free from flammable materials. When welding or
cutting is necessary in an undesignated or hazardous area,
have someone nearby act as a fire attendant.
- Periodically check welding and cutting areas for
- Take care to prevent sparks from starting a fire.
- Remove unused gas cylinders from the welding and cutting
- Keep hoses out of doorways and away from other people. A
flattened hose can cause a flashback.
- Mark hot metal with a sign or other warning when welding
or cutting operations are complete.
17.5.1 Welding Guidelines
Please see linked section.
17.5.2 Cutting Guidelines
Please see linked section.
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