A powerful tool for drilling holes into hard surfaces such as wood and metal, the drill press is both an essential, as well as a potentially dangerous piece of equipment for those that work with them. If you have bought a new drill press for your DIY projects, or if you have a company where the employees working for you have to work with a drill press often, here are five safety tips that will minimize the chances of an accident.

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Know Your Machine

Unless you have worked with the particular model before, always take the time necessary to get acquainted with a new drill press, even if you have years of experience in dealing with them. Read the manual properly and get to know and understand the capacity, applications and precautions associated with your drill press.

Wear Your Safety Equipment

In order to ensure safety, it is not just advised, but also necessary for everyone to wear goggles and use drill press safety shields. This is a rule that cannot be compromised under any circumstance, and managers and supervisors should pay extra attention to whether everyone on the site is wearing their safety equipment or not. Make it punishable to not wear the safety equipment in your factory because at the end of the day, it will probably end up saving everyone a lot of pain.

Practice Extra Caution with the Chuck Key

Accidental starting of a drill press can be disastrous, so here are a few important safety tips to keep that from happening.

  • Be extra mindful about never leaving the chuck key in
  • Opt for a self-ejecting chuck key if you can
  • Always make sure the power switch on the drill press is set to off before plugging it in
  • Unplug the drill press during maintenance or repair

Be Absolutely Sure About the Accessories

A lot of the accidents that do happen around drill presses happen because people were using wrong accessories with the wrong machine. Hand auger bits and any other incompatible accessory will not work with a drill press and will probably end up damaging the drill, if not hurt someone along the way too.

Hold the Workpiece in Place Firmly

Always get a good grip on the piece that you are working on to prevent them from flying off and hurting someone. Depending on the size of the piece in question, gripping firmly may not be enough for small workpieces and you will need to secure it in place with clamps or hold it in a vice.

All it takes is one mistake or mishap for it to end in a tragedy, so as a bonus tip, we would also recommend wearing tight fitting clothes and hair nets for those that have long hair. Also, do not attempt to go past the recommended spindle speeds while working, and unless you are sure of what the right speed should be for the job, it is safer to work with a lower speed.