Any automated machine or power tool (manual or CNC) with spinning blades has inherent dangers. If safety precautions are not followed carefully, serious injury can result. Although CNC movement can be simulated, and the ability to keep a safe distance from the machine while in operation and to use emergency stop buttons, or kill switches, help make computer-controlled machines safer, there are still inherent dangers. Knowing where the E-stops (shown in Figure 1) are located is always a good idea.
Figure 1. Emergency stop button on a Tormach PCNC 1100 personal
As any shop teacher or machinist can tell you, there are dangers associated with all tools, automated or manual. Here are some safety rules you should always follow to avoid injury:
• Wear safety glasses—bits can snap, debris can break loose and excessive dust can irritate the eyes.
• No loose-fitting garments—sleeves or scarves can easily get snagged on or even pulled into a machine.
• No jewelry, especially rings and necklaces.
• Tie back long hair.
• Do not use visually worn or broken tooling.
• Stay close to the emergency stop button (Figure 1).
• Wear hearing protection.
• Have a first aid kit handy.