Safety is everyone’s concern and operating CNC Plasma Cutting Machines involve certain inherent risks. It’s important that both machines operators and spectators should adhere to a certain level of safety. Listed below are a few safety risks that must be considered:
- Toxic Fumes – The material being cut can be a source of toxic fumes or gases that deplete oxygen. Metals that may release toxic fumes include, but are not limited to, stainless steel, carbon steel, zinc (galvanized), and copper. Metal can also be coated with substances that can release toxic fumes; they may include, but are not limited to lead, cadmium, and beryllium.
- Plasma Arc Burns – The plasma arc forms immediately when the torch switch is activated and will cut quickly through gloves and skin. Keep clear of the torch tip and cutting path, and never point the torch toward yourself or others.
- Eye and Skin Protection – Plasma arc rays produce intense visible and invisible (ultraviolet and infrared) rays that can burn eyes and skin. Use eye protection with appropriate lens shading and wear protective clothing, including gauntlet gloves, safety shoes, hat, flame-retardant clothing, and cuff-less trousers to prevent entry of sparks and slag. Remove any combustibles from your pockets before cutting.
- Pacemaker and Hearing Aids – Pacemakers and hearing aid operation can be affected by magnetic fields from high currents. Wearers of either device should consult a doctor before going near any plasma arc cutting and gouging operations.
- Electrical Shock – Touching live electrical parts can cause a fatal shock or severe burn. Operating the Plasma System completes an electrical circuit between the torch and the workpiece; the workpiece and anything touching the workpiece are part of the electrical circuit. Never touch the torch body, workpiece, or the water in a water table when the Plasma System is operating. Wear insulated gloves and boots, and keep your body and clothing dry.
- Grounding – Attach the work cable securely to the workpiece or the work table with good metal-to-metal contact. Do not connect it to the piece that will fall away when the cut is complete.
- Compressed Gas Equipment –Use only gas cylinders, regulators, hoses, and fittings designed for the specific application
- Noise – On some large plasma systems, prolonged exposure to high levels of noise can damage hearing. If necessary, use approved ear protection when using a plasma system and warn others nearby about the noise hazard.
Remember: The simplest ways to stay safe are ensuring an operator has had proper training and the work area is kept clean and clear.