17 May Die Setting Safety
Die Setting Safety
Die setters set up, maintain, and operate presses and cutting machines used to form and cut metal, plastic and other materials into shapes for manufacturing. The die plate sets can be casting shapes, cutting implements, or press plates. Die plates are usually manually inserted into machinery and adjusted so the tooling will function properly and safely. Die setters require proper training and awareness of the hazards involved with this work.
Most importantly, die setters must be familiar with the process and safety features of the machinery that they operate. When performing setup and maintenance on this type of machinery, lockout/tagout procedures must be used. Workers should inspect machinery before operating it; brakes, clutches, and safety block/counter balance systems should be functional. Other safety features to inspect include anti-repeat devices that limit the machine to a single stroke and interlock features that prevent operation of the equipment if safeguards are not in place. Equipment that fails inspection should be tagged out of service and reported.
Pinch points in machinery can catch or crush body parts while setting the die plates, inserting product blanks, or removing scraps. Properly functioning machine guards should be in place around all moving parts during operation. Operators should always be aware of where their hands and body parts are. Safety devices such as emergency stops, sensors, or operator restraints can prevent accidents – these should be used when available. Workers should wear tight fitting clothing and secure jewelry and long hair.
Machinery may eject flying particles, finished products, or scraps during processing and injure workers. Machined products must be caught in baskets or trays that are guarded with mesh or other barriers. Barriers should function properly and remain in place during operation. When the product or scrap tray is emptied, it must be immediately replaced, or the machinery should be temporarily tagged out of service. Housekeeping and scrap removal job tasks require as much attention to detail as production duties.
Many machine operators are on their feet much of the day; frequent stretching and anti-fatigue mats can provide ergonomic relief. Die setters sometimes do heavy lifting. Proper lifting techniques can prevent back strains and injuries. Personal protective equipment such as safety glasses can protect the eyes from flying particles while earplugs protect against machine noise. Safety shoes can prevent slips and falls and protect the toes if a heavy load drops. If process materials emit fumes or dust, respiratory protection may be needed to protect the worker.
Die setters can press for safety with proper training and knowledge of operating procedures.