Safety First: 5 Basic Tips for Machine Tool Operators

Today’s machine tools are powerful and produce parts faster than ever before. And, as with any powerful piece of equipment, it’s important to apply good safety practices to reduce the risk of injury. In short, respect the machine to avoid the potential for injuries sustained from moving parts, tissue damage due to contact with cold or hot machine parts, hearing loss, eye damage and stresses put on the body due to repetitive motions, excessive reaching or heaving lifting. Thankfully, modern machine tools are designed with many safety features to help reduce these hazards. To stay safe while operating a machine tool, keep the following in mind:

1. All machine operators must be thoroughly trained before operating a machine tool. Every machine tool is different and requires different training to understand its operational and safety features. Even the latest user-friendly machine technologies require specific skills to successfully program and operate the equipment. 

At Mazak, we offer a Progressive Learning program that combines hands-on training, web-based instruction and real world examples to give operators the skills they need to maximize your company’s investment and ensure their safety while working. This tiered learning program offers training for customers of all skill levels. To learn more about our unique training approach, visit the Progressive Learning section of our website.

2. Never remove machine guards or operate a machine with doors open. Accidents can occur when an operator reaches into a machine to remove a jam of chips or attempts to reposition a cutting tool or workpiece. Mazak machine tools are designed with safety guards and doors that require tools to remove and should only be removed by trained service personnel. These protective barriers prevent an operator from coming into contact with the machine’s moving parts as well as prohibit debris and sparks, which are created during machining, from hitting him/her.

3. Keep equipment well maintained. At Mazak, we provide recommended maintenance schedules for each of our machine tool models. This regular maintenance is designed to keep machine tools operating at peak performance in terms of both productivity and safety. Should your machine tool need service for any reason, contact our service support department immediately.

4. Reduce risk of fatigue, discomfort and injury by using ergonomic features. When we design our machines, ergonomics is an important factor. That’s why our machines feature large windows and convenient easy access to part and tool loading, the electrical panel and maintenance areas. Even our MAZATROL Smooth CNCs are designed to make programming our machines easy and safe. A large 19” display presents all critical machine data within a single page view, and this display panel tilts to allow for optimum positioning based on an operator’s height.

5. Always wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Even with all of the advancements in safety features on today’s machine tools, all operators should wear personal protective equipment. Safety goggles, hearing protection and safety work shoes provide another layer of defense and further help reduce the risk of accidents. 

At Mazak, we believe that workplace safety is crucial, and with the right training, machine tool operators can safely operate the most advanced, productive tools on the market. For more information about the safety features on any of our machines or the many training opportunities we offer, contact your local Mazak representative.

About Mazak Corporation

Mazak Corporation is a leader in the design and manufacture of productive machine tool solutions. Committed to being a partner to customers with innovative technology, its world-class facility in Florence, Kentucky, produces over 100 models of turning centers, Multi-Tasking machines and vertical machining centers, including 5- axis models. Continuously investing in manufacturing technology allows the Kentucky Mazak iSMART Factory™ to be the most advanced and efficient in the industry, providing high-quality and reliable products through its “Production-On-Demand” practice. Mazak maintains eight Technology Centers across North America to provide local hands-on applications, service and sales support to customers. For more information on Mazak's products and solutions, visit or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.