Engraving, as a design process, has evolved and endured over time to incorporate a variety of approaches and materials. However, like any other business, engravers must be conscious of several health and safety risks while working to avoid accidents and other mishaps. Here are five important health and safety concerns that frequently go overlooked in the engraving business.
Engravings are susceptible to fire outbreaks, especially when laser engraving at home. When laser etching your material, it’s unusual to detect little flames. Flames that are less than two inches in height usually extinguish on their own in seconds, but you may need to use a blanket to put out flames that continue burning before they spread. A fire extinguisher is typically sufficient for putting out flames greater than two inches in diameter. As a result, professional engravers and specialists such as The Engraving People frequently have fire extinguishers on hand at their facilities, despite the fact that the danger of fires in such places is small.
Sawdust and other particles in the air from laser engraving may cause explosions, so clean workshops are required to avoid injuries. Sawdust and other lingering particles in the air from laser engraving can ignite and cause explosions. Also, unused scrap in your workplace is always a fire danger since these materials burn rapidly. As a result, maintain a clear and tidy workshop to reduce any safety concerns.
When cutting various materials, safety goggles are required, but many do without them. Because even a low-powered laser engraver generates light energy that is three times as powerful as the sun’s rays, laser engraving undoubtedly poses a significant eye hazard. This powerful light can severely damage your cornea, lens, and retina if you’re not wearing protective eyewear when working with it.
Marble, paper, metal, glass, wood, and fabric are just a few of the many materials for which laser engraving is possible. However, you may put yourself in danger by believing that laser engraving is suitable for all materials because you could be breathing dangerous fumes. PVC is a highly toxic material that can be fatal even at low doses, so you should never engrave PVC with lasers. Furthermore, fibreglass, polypropylene, coated carbon fibre, HDPE, and ABS are some other materials that shouldn’t be engraved with lasers. As a general guideline, many experts advocate avoiding any materials with which you are not familiar, as well as known combustible items.
Although many laser engravers may operate rapidly, certain tasks might take hours to finish. As a result, many engravers frequently leave their equipment while jobs proceed. However, in some circumstances, this can cause fires and metal melting, therefore a laser operator must be on hand at all times while laser engraving is taking place. If you must take breaks from monitoring, it’s always a good idea to notify another operator before leaving.