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Staying safe in a machine shop

As a new machine shop apprentice, you may be unfamiliar with all the dangers that are present in your work environment. There are hazards lurking around every corner that can cause harm to a machinist. From minor cuts to amputations and even blindness, there are very dangerous accidents that could happen to you any time you walk onto the shop floor.

The best way to avoid these hazards is to become aware of them and to follow proper safety guidelines. Unfortunately, no matter how many safety precautions you take, accidents can happen that are completely out of your control. In case you suffer an injury on the job, you should familiarize yourself with Illinois's workers' compensation laws. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate filing a workers' compensation claim.

Read below for safety guidelines for working in a machine shop.

Always wear the appropriate gear for your job. You should wear personal protective equipment, such as safety goggles or glasses, at all times, whether or not you are actually operating a machine. If you do not wear your protective eyewear while on the shop floor, chips and other debris coming from your co-workers' machines could injure you.

Welding and cutting metal produces fumes and gases that could be harmful to your health. If the shop does not have proper ventilation, your employer should provide you with an OSHA approved respirator.

Wear clothing that can withstand the environment. Loose or torn clothing, as well as unbound hair, can cause an injury if it becomes entangled in a machine. Also, avoid wearing sandals, cloth sneakers, or any other type of shoe that leaves your feet exposed. Chemical spills or splashes can cause serious damage to skin that is not properly protected. A smock or rubber apron can provide extra protection in case you come into contact with corrosive or irritating liquids.

Be vigilant at all times

Before you begin operating a machine, take the time to look it over for missing or loose bolts, or any missing component. You should also make sure that all guards are in place and secure. A loose or unsecure guard could easily result in a very serious injury such as amputation.

When operating a machine, always run it at its intended pace. Do not rush the feeds or speeds while you are working. Running a machine at a high pace can cause damage to the equipment and might even result in an injury. Listen to the machine carefully and pay attention for sounds that are abnormal. If the machine sounds like it is not functioning properly, turn it off immediately and inspect it.

Machine shops can be extremely dangerous places to work and accidents can happen at any time. If you have been injured on the job, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.

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