The milling machine is commonly used in construction sites. It is a tool that is used to work with metal. The strong blade of the milling machine cuts the material, evens it out, and drills holes through it. Even though it is a widely used machine, it can also pose a risk of injury to anyone using it.
The process of detaching material from a work-piece with the aid of rotary cutters is known as milling. The milling process helps in carving, curving, tapering, or flattening the work-piece with different patterns at diverse angles with the help of a rotating cutter with different kinds of abrasive edges.
Key Parts of the Milling Machine
Milling machines usually include a motor-powered spindle that revolves around the milling cutter. Another critical component of the milling machine is a worktable, which is adjustable so that you can easily feed the piece of work to the cutter.
Whether you use a manual machine or a machine controlled by a computer, some fundamental safety precautions have to be followed. Surveys show that even workers using a milling machine controlled by computer could end up in a serious situation because of recklessness.
Types of Hazards and Injuries with a Milling Machine
Cuts to the skin are the most common while dealing with milling machines. They can be minor scrapes or serious injuries such as the loss of limbs or fingers. Most milling machines come with a cutter guard so that a terrible injury can be avoided.
Eye damage can occur from flying debris or particles getting into the eyes of the operator. This can cause a grievous injury or even blindness. Thus, it is highly recommended to use eye protection to prevent these sort of injuries at work.
Some common hazards that can be caused by milling machines include:
- Long hair or loose clothes can get entangled with the machine.
- Irritation of the skin because of contact with grease, fluids, and oil.
- Direct contact with the cutters is a credible threat.
- Your finger could get trapped while working too close to a milling machine.
- The milling machine can sometimes unexpectedly emit an electric shock.
- Heavy objects could hurt or injure people by falling from the table.
- Slippery floors or something scattered on the floor could cause an operator to slip and come in contact with the cutters.
- Milling machines that are not being checked regularly could malfunction and cause an injury to the operator.
Safety Tips for Using a Milling Machine
- Always wear safety glasses.
- Make sure that there is a start/stop button always in reach of the person operating the milling machine.
- Make sure that the piece of work and cutter are both mounted securely before beginning.
- Confirm that the work is mounted properly.
- Mount work tightly by bolting it to the table or holding it magnetically in place. Use hand tools to perform any adjustments.
- Use a cloth to hold the milling cutters to prevent any cuts or scrapes while handling them.
- Keep the table as far from cutter as possible while working to prevent injuries.
- Mill the surface first, which is the largest.
- Keep brushes, rags, and hands away from the milling cutter.
- Use a rake, brush, or vacuum to clear up cuttings only once the cutters have shut down.
- Change the compounds of the cutting periodically.
- Keep cutters properly sharpened and in prime condition.
- Make sure there are no materials, tools, and scraps near the working surface.
- While cleaning the machine, remove the cutting tools from the spindle.
- Keep the floor beneath the milling machine clean and free of grease and oil.
- When moving heavy work from the milling machine, use proper lifting equipment.
- Ensure the power is switched off and there is no power to the machine before you change the cutters.
- Always stay near the machine while it is running.
Watch YouTube Video: Milling Machine. This video provides some safety tips on how to use a milling machine.
Checklist Prior to Starting the Machine
Before beginning, ensure that:
- guards are in position.
- the work is secured properly in place.
- the bolts that are used to secure the work are clear of the tooling.
- supporting pieces and tooling are properly tightened.
- table stops are properly secured.
- handles on feed screws are at neutral.
- the table is clear of tools, stock, or any loose material.
- the arbor support and arbor are away from the work.
- the cutter rotates in the correct direction.
Factors to Consider for Cutting Speed
Make sure that the following vital factors are taken into consideration when setting the cutting speed:
- material which is to be machined
- cutter type
- required finish
- depth of cut
- the rigidity of workpiece and machine
Things to Avoid
- Don’t wear loose clothing, watches, rings, or gloves. If you have long hair, tie it back.
- Don’t attempt to measure, adjust work, or mount until cutter completely stops.
- Don’t use a feed or cut that is excessively heavy as it may break the cutter. The flying pieces could cause a grave injury.
- Don’t go near or reach over a revolving cutter. Keep your hands 30 cm (12 in.) away from the revolving cutter at all times.
- Never rest your hands or lean on the moving table.
- Don’t make adjustments when the machine is already running.
- Don’t use paper shims for checking the distance between the cutter and the stock.
- Don’t move any operating levers if you don’t know what they do.
- Never leave the machine unattended when it is in operation.
Employer’s Legal Responsibility
- Procedures that ensure worker compliance.
- A system of communication with workers on health and safety matters.
- Periodic inspections to assess potential hazards in the workplace.
- Procedure to investigate workplace accidents.
- Procedure for timely correction of unhealthy or unsafe work conditions, procedures, and practices.
- Worker and manager training with regard to work practices as well as specific hazards related to a particular job.
- Records in writing to document the creation of IIPP, inspections, and training.
For more information about employer’s legal obligations in California, click here.
Milling Machine Accident Lawyers in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a milling machine accident lawyer in Sacramento. Work accidents can cause life-long disabilities and even wrongful death. If you or a family member has been injured in a milling machine accident, call me at 916-584-9355 for a free consultation.
I’ve been assisting clients throughout Northern California for 36 years with personal injury and wrongful death cases. My team and I have the knowledge and expertise to examine your case and help you obtain the compensation you or your family is entitled to.
Photo by Phenom Engineering
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