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Machine Shop Safety Checklist

Workers in machine shops are exposed to dermal contact, and inhalation of the fumes, from metalworking fluids, and the hazards of working with machines. Procedures should be in place to limit worker exposure. The following checklist can be used on a regular basis to reinforce shop safety issues.


Is the shop’s safety program posted in a readily accessible location?
Are aisles (means of egress) properly marked and kept clear of materials and equipment? Are wet or oily surfaces covered with nonslip materials?
Is adequate lighting provided in all work areas and walkways?
Is the work area’s ventilation system appropriate for work being performed (e.g. dusts, fumes, vapors, grinding, buffing, painting?)
Are operators dressed safely for the job (no loose fitting clothing, jewelry, long hair, or open-toed shoes)?
Are approved safety glasses required to be worn at all times in areas where there is risk of eye injury, such as impact, flying debris, chemical splash, or light radiation.
Are protective gloves, aprons, shields, or other means provided for workers to protect against cuts, abrasions, punctures, corrosive liquids and chemicals?
Is appropriate foot protection required where there is risk of foot injuries from hot, corrosive, poisonous substances, falling objects, and crushing or penetrating forces?
Are first-aid kits easily accessible to each work area, with necessary supplies available and are they periodically inspected and replenished as needed?

Machine Guarding and Operations

Are guards in place to protect against point of operation, nip points, rotating parts, flying chips, and sparks?
Are coolant splashguards in place to prevent employee exposure?
Are revolving drums, barrels, and containers guarded by an enclosure interlocked with the drive mechanism so that revolution cannot occur unless the guard enclosure is in place?
Are start, stop (must be colored red), and other operating controls within the worker’s each reach?
Are foot-operated switches guarded or arranges to prevent accidental actuation? Are manually-operated valves and switches guarded or arranged to prevent accidental actuation?

Fire Safety

Are emergency telephone/pager numbers posted where they can be readily found in case of emergency?
Are fire extinguishers free from obstructions or blockage, and have employees been trained to use them?
Is there a posted emergency evacuation plan for the shop?
Are gas connections that need to be turned off in case of fire clearly marked?
Are flammable and combustible liquids stored properly?
Are combustible scrap, debris, and waste materials (i.e. oily rags) placed in covered metal receptacles and removed each day?

Hazard Communication (Chemical Storage)

Are Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) available for all hazardous substances used in the shop?
Are eye wash stations and safety showers provided in areas where corrosive chemicals are handled?
Are workers required to use personal protective clothing and equipment when handling chemicals?
Is each hazardous substance container (i.e., vats, bottles, and storage tanks) labeled with product identity and a hazard warning (communication of specific health and physical hazards)?
Are chemical containers and piping systems clearly marked as to their contents?

Electrical Safety

Are all machines properly grounded and bonded?
Do extension cords in use have a grounding conductor?
Are portable electrical tools and equipment grounded or of the double insulated type?
Are breaker panels accessible and each circuit properly labeled?
Can power to each machine be locked out for maintenance, repair, or security?

Machine Maintenance and Repair

Are all machines that are designed to be fixed securely anchored to prevent movement?
Is sufficient clearance provided around and between machines to allow for safe operations, set-up and servicing, materials handling, and waste removal?
Is there a regular safety inspection of each piece of machinery or equipment?
Are maintenance workers provided up-to-date service instructions for each machine?
Is the owner’s manual for each machine readily available?
Are maintenance and servicing workers trained in the requirements of lockout/ tagout hazards?
Do maintenance workers lockout the machine from its power sources before beginning repairs?
Do maintenance workers have electrical plug locks or disconnect switches?
Are multiple lockout devices used when several maintenance persons work on the same machine?
Is the maintenance equipment properly guarded?

Copyright ©2002, ISO Services Properties, Inc.
The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries (“The Hanover”) specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of  any recommendations or advice  contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with The Hanover. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.
LC 14-71