A plasma cutter is a brilliant and useful tool to have in your arsenal of metal fabrication machinery. It’s tried and true and can take on a variety of different types of metal of varying gauges. But like with any metal fabrication tool, there are certain safety procedures and precautions that should be taken – especially when it comes to clothing. This is to ensure you produce the best quality products as well as keep your personnel safe in the process.
Adequate protective clothing should always be worn by all operators. The burns from a plasma cutter can be quite severe – and to make things worse, some of the rays produced are invisible. This makes it even harder to pinpoint where to stay away from. On top of this, the clothing will shield you from shocks and sparks as the machine will also put out a lot of voltage as well as produce an electromagnetic field. PPE clothing is highly recommended in this scenario.
Welding goggles and general face protection is highly recommended as the highly concentrated rays and flares produced by the plasma cutter can be quite dangerous and harmful – especially when it comes to your face. You’re also going to want to avoid directly looking at a plasma cutter’s arc as it can cause damage to your eyes and eventually lead to blindness.
Because of this, we also recommend using goggles or protective face gear that are shaded to lessen the effects on your eyes. Certain shade ratings are appropriate for corresponding arc current (amperes) units.
Gloves & footwear
In an ideal world, the operators won’t be harmed when using such machinery – however, accidents do occur. Wearing heavy-duty, shock resistant PPE gloves is the first step to mitigating any injuries sustained from accidentally touching the wrong surface. The sheer power generated by a plasma cutter is quite dangerous. So, if you accidentally come into contact with the torch tip or any surface that is connected to a part of the machine that is outputting such high voltage you’re going to want to ensure you’re adequately protected.
It is also generally a good practice to wear gloves when handling heavy machinery as even simple accidents like hands getting caught in moving objects or cuts from sharp edges can occur. These can be mitigated if the appropriate measures are taken. The same can be said when it comes to footwear – strong industrial boots should be worn to lessen the chance of physical injury occurring and a dry mat should be stood on to insulate you from electric shocks.
The last thing you want to do is cause irreparable damage to your ears – which is why ear protection is so crucial when operating plasma cutters. The decibel levels can get fairly high with this particular machine and a mixture of sharp noises and heavy shocks can wreak all sorts of havoc with your audible systems so you’re definitely going to want to look into appropriate earplugs. If the proper methods are not followed, then the loss of hearing can occur.
Cleaning your machine
Whilst personal protective clothing is essential, there is something else that could mean the difference between a good and bad day when operating a plasma cutter – and that’s the cleaning and maintaining of it. Best case scenario, your machine won’t operate if it’s insufficiently maintained or cleaned – but the worst case could mean that accidents occur. It’s important to ensure your machine is always kept in tip-top condition and is regularly cleaned. Please refer to our plasma cutting maintenance blog for further instructions on how to go about this.
Are you looking for a plasma cutter?
When it comes to sheet metal machinery, nobody knows the equipment better than ACRA Machinery. Our technicians live and breathe sheet metal machinery and can help you find the perfect machine. With our extensive range of new and used machines such as plasma cutters, slitter folders and press brakes – you’ll find it tough not to find a solution to your problem.
Need a machine repaired or serviced? Our technicians can help you out with that too as we provide a full suite of on-site maintenance and repair solutions for all types of metal fabrication machines. We’ll even come to you to make things easier on your end.
So, if you’re looking to purchase a plasma cutter or would like to know more about our other products and services, please don’t hesitate to contact us through our website or give us a call on 03 9794 6675.