Keeping Machine Tool Operators Safe and Healthy

SHARE ON

4 Ways to Keep Machine Operators Safe & Healthy

A healthy workforce reduces absenteeism, helps contain medical costs and boosts morale ­– which leads to greater productivity. Best of all, you can enjoy these benefits by simply choosing machine tool peripherals designed with worker health and safety in mind. Here are four examples:

  • Improve air quality: CNC machines emit coolant mist and smoke into your factory’s atmosphere, which means your machine operators inhale large amounts of these vapors every shift. This can lead to respiratory problems that require medical attention and contribute to absenteeism. The solution is to install mist collectors capable of filtering out oil/coolant mist, smoke and other fine aerosols and particulates. The best of these exceed OSHA and NIOSH requirements and, with a final stage HEPA filter, remove 99.97% of contaminants.

  • Eliminate waste oil. Contaminated cutting fluids potentially breed harmful bacteria that can cause respiratory problems and skin irritation. A waste oil removal system removes waste oil droplets as small as 20 microns from machine coolant, returning fluid that is 99% free of contaminated oil to the machine sump. As a result, workers are healthier and more productive, and the filtered tramp oil can be disposed of in an environmentally safe manner.

  • Take a load off. Lifting and manually loading 12- or 6-foot bar stock is not only fatiguing, it’s time-consuming and exposes workers to potential physical injury. An automatic bar feeder is far easier on the machine operator’s body and reduces labor costs while improving throughput and part quality. In the same way a vacuum unloader eliminates the need for an operator to manually remove finished parts.

  • Keep out of harm’s way. Sticking your hand into a pile of metal chips and razor-sharp bird’s nests to clear out a blockage is a good way to earn a trip to the ER. An efficient chip conveyor should keep these bottlenecks from happening, and 3-D conveying systems automatically move chips to containers outside of the building, thus eliminating the need for manual disposal.

To learn more ways to improve workplace health and safety, contact your local LNS representative or call 513-528-5674.