Accidents are a serious danger in the metal fabrication industry. Numerous risks are associated with manufacturing processes during stainless steel fabrication, aluminium fabrication, and steel fabrication. Press brakes also pose risks, some of which stem from multiple pinch points, various rotating rollers and tons of forces being applied. However, most of the accidents are a direct result of the inability of the press brake operator or a lack of attention. The main issues with the safety of a press brake can be broken into two categories, operational safety, and machine setup.
Machine Setup Safety
Having a correct understanding of the flow of power of the tools is essential when trying to install it properly on the press brake. This importance is further stressed due to the fact that some tools can only be installed onto the press brake in only one way. Therefore, it is vital to follow strict procedures during tooling installation. Special care should be taken, before installing any tool, to ensure that the ram is at its most extended position that is, locked in shut height position. After that, the tooling can be safely slid into the press once it is locked. You may notice, that you have to try several times before achieving a sizeable gap needed, however, once you do get the right gap, sliding in a tool and installing it very simply, without any risk of it falling out.
There are some safety precautions that need to be taken when operating the press brake. For starters, it is recommended to always do a dry-run before any actual material is used. This allows for a check whether or not the required operation will be carried out properly.
In the case that there are two workers working on the press brake, only one of them should be assigned as the operator in charge. It is safer if the work is done by one person, and the operator ensures that all other coworkers stay clear of the press brake before any operation begins.
Properly setting the open height of the brake is also of great importance. You should not be able to fit a finger between the punch and die and if they are, there is a high chance that your finger is in danger. The height should be adjusted so that there is no change of fitting finger there. While in some cases it might be necessary to set the punch and die further apart, in most cases, as a safety precaution, it should not be separated enough to allow a finger to slip and lead to potential accidents.
Never underestimate a press brake. If you need to work with something hard to reach, try to move around it, never put your hand between the punch and die as it may lead to permanent injuries to your hand.
You should ensure that you never put any parts of your body between the punch and die and always keep yourself clear from any workpieces. This will prevent you from getting hit by the workpiece. Moreover, there is always a risk when sitting in front of a press brake, so always stay far enough so that you may move out of the way in case of an emergency. Similar precautions should be taken in similar processes such as laser cutting, metal bending, and metal rolling