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Machine Shop Safety Toolbox Talk

Machine Shop Safety

Machine shops are an integral part of the Cornell University campus. These shops support the University infrastructure, advance research operations, and are a focus for many student courses and elective activities. Machine shops can pose a myriad of hazards that must be taken seriously. Many of the most frequently cited OSHA safety standards pertain to machine safeguarding. Nearly 45,000 machinery accidents occur each year in industry, causing over one thousand fatalities. EHS has developed these standard practices for all University machine shops. In addition, each machine shop has location-specific rules that must be observed by shop users.

Basic Shop Safety Rules

  • Users must receive department-approved instruction on each piece of equipment prior to using it for the first time.
  • Make sure emergency contact numbers are posted and emergency response procedures are in place.
  • Never permit operators to wear loose clothing or jewelry. Long hair must be secured up.
  • No open-toed shoes or sandals.
  • Safety glasses are to be worn at all times while machines & tools are in use.
  • No food or drink is permitted in the workshop.
  • Cell phones, mp3 players, and other personal electronic devices must not be used when working at any machine. Loud music is prohibited.
  • Ensure aisles and exit paths remain unobstructed at all times. Users are required to clean up all chips, dirt, oil, etc. produced by the use of any piece of equipment.
  • All tools must be cleaned and returned to the proper location when finished. No tools are to be removed from the shop without authorization.
  • Users must not undertake any actions that may injure or distract other users or result in damage to equipment or the work of others.  No horseplay is allowed in the shop.
  • All injuries shall be immediately reported to the shop supervisor. Injury reports shall be submitted via the University injury reporting system.

A combination of guards (rigid barriers) and devices (interlocks, stop buttons) must be used to protect against the hazards of:

  • Power transmission devices – belts, gears, chains, etc
  • Points of operation - cutting edges
  • Moving parts – rotary movement, in-running nip points
  • Flying chips/materials

General Machine Safety Rules

  • A machine designed for a fixed location must be securely anchored to prevent walking or moving.
  • No equipment is to be left running while unattended.
  • Any damage to the machines, tools, fixtures, etc. must be reported to a supervisor immediately.
  • Machines shall be completely stopped and de-energized before attempting to clear jammed work or debris.

More information, as well as safety training, can be found on the EHS web page.

Please return the Machine Shop Safety Toolbox Safety Talk sign-in sheet to Environment, Health and Safety for recordkeeping.