Plasma cutting is one of the most simple, popular, and economical cutting methods. But if not handled with care, it will lead to unexpected severe hazards. So, to reap its benefits and increase productivity without any accidents, you should follow some safety practices. The foremost safety step to take is investing in good quality machine parts like Mazak parts, Mitsubishi machine parts, Amada plasma cutting parts, etc. Here we will have a brief look at the top three plasma cutting safety tips that one must follow:
1. Fire Safety
In the plasma cutting process, preventing fire should be on the top of your safety checklist. It is because the plasma cutting arc blows hot metals and sparks out. It can even heat up by cutting the torch and workpiece that may cause fire and burns. Also, ensure you are keeping your eyes safe while performing plasma cutting. And how can you do it? With the help of safety glasses having a side shield. You can even use a helmet or a face shield with safety glasses for more protection.
You can also protect your body from harmful flying sparks and hot metal with the help of dry undamaged flame-resistant gloves and clothes. You can choose clothes made from tightly woven materials such as wool, leather, heavy denim, etc. You should also button your shirt collars to stop them from catching fire. You should avoid wearing cuffed pants as they can catch sparks. And to protect your feet from the fire, you should wear the best quality leather shoes and boots.
The plasma can be so hot that it can even cut through the gloves and skin. Thus, to prevent this injury, you must avoid gripping material near the cutting path.
2. Proper Ventilation
Similar to welding, plasma cutting also produces fumes and gases. And breathing them might mess with your health. You can prevent this health hazard by ensuring proper ventilation in the space where machines are working using fume extraction systems and respirators. You can even use a welding respirator while using a plasma cutter in a confined space. In situations when the airflow of your working machine room is restricted, then you can use a welding fume extractor. Additionally, ensure that you comply with the codes and standards of your area.
When you cut coated metals such as cadmium-plated steel or galvanized steel, you should remove the coating from the cutting area. These coatings release toxic fumes when they are cut with the plasma arc. You can use the suction system and exhaust hood at the arc to ventilate the cutting area while cutting the coated metals. This will keep the area free of fumes and safe to breathe.
3. Avoid Electric Shocks
Manufacturers connect plasma arc with an electric circuit between a workpiece and a torch. This means that if you touch the torch or the workpiece when the plasma cutter is operating, you might end up with a fatal electric shock through your body. Additionally, plasma cutters need compressed gas and high voltage to cut steel and electrically conductive metals. To give you a perspective, the plasma cutter voltages are in the range of 100-200 Volts, and that is way higher than welding voltages.
You can follow the below safety practices for saving yourself from electric shocks:
- Do not remove the ground clamps when the plasma cutting process progresses.
- Wear insulated boots and gloves to keep your body dry and safe from electric shocks.
- Do not remove the ground cable that is attached to the workpiece during the cutting process.
- Do not stand, sit, or lie on the wet floor while the plasma cutting process is going on. Instead, choose a rubber mat to prevent electrical shocks.
I hope the safety practices mentioned earlier may help you to carry out plasma cutting devoid of accidents or any injuries. You must remember, the key here is to identify the risks and eliminate them with necessary safety measures. To ensure additional safety, you can use high-quality Mazak parts and Mitsubishi machine parts. By following these safety measures, you can not only eliminate the accidents but also ensure growth and productivity.