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According to the general workshop safety rules published by the Western Illinois University, there are basic safety rules to be observed in any workshop when operating any machine. These rules differ slightly from the normal human ideas regarding common safety procedures. It has to do with individual’s ways of handling things and operating machines in any workshop for personal safety and that of the machine. Several opinions had been dropped in regard to safety procedures in the workshop and going through some of them one can conclusively say that it can be summarized in the following categories:

  • Ways of operating a machine, which includes speed, and power control.
  • Methods of setting up the operating system of the machine before work can be commenced and that includes the way which workpiece is clamped or fixed, the rigidity of the entire set up before commencing the operation.
  • The inspection aspect of the job that is how the machine was inspected before operation and reports of previous accidents caused by the machine and their causes.
  • The professional knowledge of the operator, how qualified is the individual to handle such machine.
  • The manufacturer’s specifications in regard to the machine’s working capacity.

For all these reasons and more, the workshop machine rules can be detailed as:


  1. It is not recommended to remove any tag or label fixed on any part of the machine in a workshop even if the operator has no knowledge of what the label or tag means.
  2. Some workshop machines do come with some safety guard to help protect the operator, it is against the safety rules to adjust or remove such guard while operating the machine.
  3. Every part of the machine removed during maintenance work on it must be fixed back and inspected properly before operating the machine again.
  4. Allowing an apprentice or unauthorized person in the workshop to operate the machine instead of the authorized person puts the operator and the machine at risk.
  5. It is risky to leave the machine unattended for a long period of time while it is still in operation.
  6. When workshop machine is in operation, it is wrong to carry out any adjustment, change the oil, or try to clean its parts.
  7. Clamping of the workpiece on the machine must be done by the operator and must be properly done to ensure proper rigidity when the machine is in operation.
  8. After the clamping job is finished the operator must remove every tool like clamping keys used for the clamping from the machine table and ensure nothing else is on the machine before starting the machine.
  9. Operators should not remove the chips and wastes from the workshop machine with the bare hand rather should use a long tool or special long brushes or metal hooks which will help to keep them away from the moving parts of the machine.
  10. The rotating shaft of workshop machines can drag any cloth material that comes close to it, for that reason operators must keep rags away from the machine and ensure they wear fitted safety coverall when approaching the machine while in operation.
  11. Operators should always have good standing when tightening or loosening any stiffed part of the machine to avoid falling and getting injured if the tool slips off the location.
  12. It is recommended that operator call the services of a crane when trying to lose and transport heavy parts of the machine or workpiece. To avoid the part falling down from his hands and get damaged.
  13. Operators should always standard at the position specified by the manufacturer for operators before starting and running the machine.
  14. Operators must do proper housekeeping in and around the machine after each use.


  1. Operators should not leave the chuck wrench in the chuck after removing the work.
  2. The work must be properly secured in the chucks and collets before starting the machine.
  3. Operators must not try to touch or hold the chuck rims while in motion.
  4. Screwing the chuck on the lathe while the power is still on can cause an accident.
  5. Before turning the power on, ensure that the tailstock, tool holder, and the work are properly fixed.
  6. Do not adjust any tool while the lathe is running.
  7. Reduce the speed or turn off the power before changing the rotational direction of the lathe, i.e. either clockwise or anti-clockwise.
  8. An operator must not try to take a reading on the workpiece using micrometers when the lathe is in high speed.


  1. Clamping the workpiece on the machine table must be done with care to ensure proper rigidity before starting the machine.
  2. After clamping the spindle should be lowered and the drill bit should touch the point it will drill on the workpiece to ensure the accuracy of the whole location before the drilling would commence.
  3. When tightening drill bit in the chuck of the drill press, remove the key before you start the machine, or your arm may be twisted around the spindle. Never leave the key in the chuck.
  4. The drill bit should be sharpened properly before commencing the operation.
  5. Feeding the drill bit with force into the workpiece may cause the bit to break and may harm the operator.
  6. Operating the drill press at high speed may result to an inaccurate job.
  7. After drilling and turning off the machine, allow the rotating spindle to come to rest before trying to remove the workpiece.


  1. Clamping must be done properly on a milling machine and the rotating table should be made rigid before starting the machine.
  2. Cutters of the milling machine should be checked for cracks and any other damage before starting the machine.
  3. An operator should keep a distance from the cutters and workpiece of the milling machine when it is in operation.
  4. Proper and recommended tools must be used to remove milling machine parts.
  5. Safety guard must be placed for the workpiece that is beyond the machine table.
  6. Milling cutters should not be stricken with a hammer because they are brittle rather should be stricken with a block of wood or copper hammers.
  7. Operators must select the required speed and settings before starting the milling machine.
  8. Measuring or checking of the workpiece’s readings must be done when the milling machine is off.
  9. The operator should use guards and baffles to protect others in the workshop from flying chips, oil, and coolants coming out of the machine.
  10. Cutters’ direction and working conditions must be checked continually to ensure they do not climb up or jam which can cause a severe accident to the operator and also damage the workpiece.

The above rules cover the general safety rules for operating workshop machines, more regarding this topic will be added in our subsequent posts, do subscribe to our updates or follow us in our social media pages.

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