CNC: Making Your Manufacturing Facility Work For You

Safety Moves You Want to See at Your Laser-Cutting Company

by Pamela Hill

Having a laser-cutting company produce clean cuts and customized pieces for you is one of the best ways to keep your employees safe—they don't have to mess with laser cutting if others are doing it for them—but you also want to be sure that the laser cutters know what they're doing. A good laser-cutting company will take proper precautions to keep staff and customers safe as well. As you search for a laser-cutting company, look for these signs that the management takes safety seriously.

No Unpermitted and Unprotected Visitors

Other than having an observation area that is protected from the work area (for example, having a window that visitors in the lobby can look through to see the work area), the work zone should be off-limits to visitors who do not have permission to be in there and who are not wearing protective gear. If you see customers wandering around the work area unescorted, you may want to look for another company to do your work.

Clean Work Area

The work area should also be very clean. Some debris accumulation throughout the day is inevitable, but the debris should be cleaned up every so often, and workers shouldn't be surrounded by piles of trash. If the machines look very dirty, or if you can see debris from the cutting process piling up in the machines, be warned that that's a fire hazard. Good companies will keep the machines as clean as possible and remove obstacles from pathways.

Access to Fire Extinguishers

Look around for fire extinguishers if you can. You may see a basic office-style extinguisher in the lobby, but if you can observe the work area (or if you can get permission and protective gear to go inside), look for fire extinguishers placed in easily accessible areas. You might not see them at every station, but the work area should have at least a small number of extinguishers placed around the facility. Note that the type of extinguisher material is dependent on the type of material being cut, but carbon dioxide is the most likely type of extinguisher you'll see.

If you don't see these, or if you spot problems like a pile of debris, question the staff about it. It could be that the pile is fresh and is about to be cleaned up (you just saw it right beforehand), or maybe there are extinguishers but you just can't see them from your vantage point. But do ensure the company takes these safety steps—those imply that the company will also take the right steps to ensure your products are cut properly.

Talk to a company such as Advanced Innovative Manufacturing, Inc. to get started.