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Accident rate and some basic thinfs you can do

As my formal education is in mining engineering, we were taught
to pay attention to safety hazards, as usually they would kill
you, i.e., explosives, rock falls, vertical falls, etc.

The things I have found that are applicabel to a lapidary and
jewelry studio:

  1. clear run way. If you need to retreat, run or backup very
    quickly form your work space, you do not have time to pick your
    way across obstacles. behind my bench, and all of my lapidarty
    gear, is 5 feet of clear space in all directions. I have used
    this on several aoccations, when dop dticvks have gotten caught
    in polishing buffs, when my acetylene torch caught on fire, etc.
    So, leave a clear retreat path away from your work, so if you
    need to leave in a hurry, you can.

  2. fumes. You need adequate ventilation. Direction of air flow
    should be side to side, not from behind you (this pulss fumes
    toward your face) or in front oif you, but left to right or right
    to left.

  3. organize shop layout so dirtiest equipment is closest to
    exhaust vent. Vent shoud exhaust air outside the building. In my
    shiop, the dirtiest piece oif equipemtn is an 18" diamond saw
    running an almag coolant, which smells terrible.

  4. Other than a cup of coffee (and even this is questionable),
    DO NOT eat in you shop area. Separate foodstuffs and work space
    by not havign one next to the other (this is from my current
    experrience in the biomedical field).

  5. Keep a clean, well lit area. I try to have my work surface
    bare, with nothing but the item I am working on present. (this
    trick coems fromt eh electronics assembly industry)

  6. closed field of view, so someone entering shop will nto
    distract you when you are concentrating. The worst abrasion I
    received from a grinding wheel came while I was cutting a stone,
    and my 2 year old nephew came into the shop, and without warning,
    screamed very loudly. As I instinctively turned to see what the
    noise was, …

  7. adequate lighting. We can write boosk on this one.

  8. keep area free of trip hazards, such as gas lines, power
    cords, rocks, excess amchinery.

  9. separate long term storage (parts, rocks, dead machinery)
    from work area. Again, in the work area should be only the work
    at hand, the toosl you need imeeddiately, and nothing else.

The shops with the highest productivity are those that spend the
least amount of time fighting clutter. They are also the safest.

Mark Zirinsky