Businesses with shops and/or power tools have a special responsibility to make sure they are used safely. The following are common, important safety guidelines to remember when working in the shop environment:

• Under no circumstances should unapproved people be allowed to use the shop equipment. Do not allow unauthorized persons to visit or loiter in the shop.

• Secure the shop when no one is present. It goes without saying that you should never leave a machine in operation while it is unattended.

• Check emergency equipment such as first aid kits, emergency lighting, fire extinguishers and eye wash stations monthly.

• Periodically check all hand tools, portable power tools and larger shop equipment. This is usually a good time to submit purchase requisitions for replacements cords, guards and other worn or damaged equipment, such as a scratched face shield that users can hardly see through.

• Check to make sure all cleaning baths and parts washers are safe to use. Take this opportunity to check area lighting, ventilation and fusible links on the self-closing covers.

• Good safety practices start with good housekeeping. Use the following guidelines for your shop maintenance:
– Clean up spills immediately.
– Keep walkways and stairs free of tripping hazards.
– Store oily rags in a covered metal container and be sure to empty it every night.
– Periodically remove excess cutting oils and filings from shop machinery.
– Keep all tools in their place and red-tag tools that need repair.

• Never wear jewelry or loose clothing around rotating machinery. Be cautious of any item that may become entangled, including long hair.

• Remember to follow all the proper steps when utilizing a lockout/tagout procedure. Never cut corners because you think it’s going to save time.

If you have any doubts or questions about the operation of a particular piece of shop machinery, never hesitate to ask your supervisor or a qualified co-worker.