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Our equipment and tools are categorised in to three groups based on risk potential:
High risk of personal injury or moderate or higher risk of damage to equipment from untrained use.
The device is NOT TO BE USED unless you have been through and passed the induction plan for the device.
- Do not use if the workshop is busy or the area around the machine is cluttered
- Do not use if you suffer any condition that might lead to lack of concentration
- Do not use the machine in poor lighting conditions
Low to moderate risk of personal injury
These are the types of devices that most DoES members will likely already be familiar with and have used at some point. Members can be ‘asked’ to attend training if they are seen to be struggling, but the expectation is people will know their limits and be responsible and ask for help.
- Training optional, but you must feel confident in the use of the device and have read the related wiki page.
- If you are in any way unsure, you must stop and ask for help.
Devices that represent low to no risk. If you need help with one of these, just grab the nearest member and ask.
- No formal safety training offered, but most members will be able to assist you should you need help.
General workshop safety
- Learn locations of fire extinguishers and first aid kits; ask someone if you are not sure
- Ensure there is at least one other person in the room who can assist in case of incident
- Do not wear loose clothing, gloves or jewellery; it can get caught in the machines
- Wear non-slip shoes to avoid slipping, and maintain an upright stance (not leaning over) with legs slightly apart to aid balance
- Read safety precaution information on equipment wiki page before use
- Turn off equipment when not in use; reduces risk and helps the environment too
- Keep the workshop tidy
Using saws, mills, drills, routers
- Safety goggles must be worn - ensure they have the
CEmark on them!
- Wear a dust mask, particularly if cutting chipboard, MDF or plastic sheets (see Use of materials section below)
- Keep hands away from blades, drills, etc., at all times - assume something will go wrong
- Place the heel of your hands on the table edge so that you cannot easily be pushed into the cutting instrument
- Stand in a well balanced position facing the blade
Use of materials
MDF and some hard woods produce carcinogenic particulate when using high speed cutting tools:
- MDF such should not be cut with power tools in our mixed-use workshop,
- MDF is safe to cut in the laser cutter, although non-laser grade may produce small amounts of formaldehyde when laser cut,
- Use vacuum extractor if present
- Wear a dust mask
- Ensure good ventilation (windows open or exhausts working properly)
- Avoid using if the workshop is busy
- Any PVC or Vinyl should not be melted or heated to thermal breakdown:
- It releases hydrogen chloride/vinyl chloride/chlorine gas which are corrosive to lungs and machines.
- Never use these material in a laser cutter
Polycarbonate and ABS do not cut well in the laser cutter:
- Both leave sticky brown residue in the cut that limits efficiency,
- Thicker materials (>1mm) don't cut through at all,
- Polycarbonate releases trace amounts of benzine when laser cut
Other plastics may not be safe to cut in the laser:
- The Manufacturer's Data Sheet (MSDS) is the gold standard for determining if a material is safe to laser cut,
- Look specifically for the chemicals produced during thermal breakdown.
Metals can damage or break machines:
- Our laser cutters aren't powerful enough to cut metal, have no reflection shielding, and is the wrong wavelength laser light for metals,
- There are limits to what our other equipment can do with metal
- Always ask a member of staff for guidance before working with metal
If you sustain or witness an injury
- There is a green first aid kit near the machine
- Alert a member of staff as soon as possible
- If the wound is serious, seek assistance and call 999 for ambulance
- The workshop address is on the website
- Ensure the incident is recorded in the accident log