Today, the use of laser technology continues to gain momentum and popularity. People new to it are beginning to discover its immense benefits. Laser cutters offer precision, speed and ease of use. However, many new users don't understand the safety mistakes they must avoid when handling laser equipment.
For that reason, this post outlines four laser cutting and safety tips to help you out. Continue reading to learn:
1. Never Leave the Machine Unattended During Firing
One significant mistake new users make that can cost a laser cutting project immensely is lack of supervision. New operators tend to focus on other tasks while leaving the machine running unattended. By doing so, you may run into fire safety risks.
While advanced laser machines come with metal cases, the heat generated from sustained laser contacts on materials can damage electronic parts and even cause fires. Therefore, always ensure you are present every time the laser cutter is running. If you must tend to something else, ensure you leave someone behind to attend to the machine.
2. Always Cut Materials with Known Properties
Laser equipment can cut a wide variety of materials, including metal, stone, fabric, acrylic, paper, and much more. Each of them emits fumes, which are blown away into the machine's fume chamber or external ventilation system.
While laser cutters can handle benign fumes emitted from particular materials like fabric and wood, they are incapable of managing toxic fumes from materials such as PVC plastics. Such fumes may pose a health risk when inhaled. Therefore, it's imperative to confirm with your material supplier for all the potential toxic hazards they pose.
3. Always Maintain a Clean Working Area
Cleanliness and safety go hand in hand in reducing work-related injuries. Remember, even the tiniest particles, such as sawdust can ignite in the air and cause a fire. Additionally, laser cutting may produce disintegrated particles that could easily cause a fire hazard. Therefore, it's essential to keep your workshop clutter-free to minimize accident risks and other health-threatening issues. Frequent workplace cleaning is part of the best practices you must observe every time you finish using the laser cutter.
4. Stay Informed and Alert
It's your responsibility to know how to operate a laser cutter before working on any project. Consider reading through the user guides and manuals to understand safe equipment handling techniques. Doing so will also equip you with the know-how on using protective equipment and safety signs.
Finally, avoiding complacency can keep you safe from possible injury risks. Therefore, always remain alert, maintain safety precautions all times and seek professional help if you are uncertain about certain laser cutting aspects. Also, establish an emergency plan and keep a keen eye on unexpected safety hazards.