While safety in the jewelry industry has gradually improved over the last several decades, the concerns are still very real. Despite the move toward automation, humans remain at the center of today’s manufacturing processes—handling materials and manipulating machinery that subjects them to risk.

So what can manufacturing companies do to protect their employees from safety hazards? Consider the following guidelines to keep health and safety regulated in the workshop.

 

Acids

1) when making up acid solutions the acids (particularly sulphuric acid) shoud always be added to water and never water to acid.

2) protective clothing, such as rubber aprans. overalls and goffles, should be worn when using acids.

3) Never quench hot metals in acids. Quench them first in water and then use the acid solution to remove oxides and borate as required.

4) Neutralising agents hould be available wherever acids are used. These are ammonia or soda, which if used liberally, will immediately kiull any spilled acids.

 

Dangerous chemicals

Cyanide such as used in plating processes is particalarly dangerous. Rubber gloves must always be worn when handling metals from plating solutions. Under no circumstances should cyanide solutions come into contact with skin, and especially the month.

Polishing processes

When using a polishing spindle:

1) If you have long hair this must be tied back to avoid getting it angled with the spindle and mops. Neglect of this precaution has frequently been the cause of injury.

2) Loose articles of clothing such as ties, apron strings, scarves and suchlike must be removed on tucked aways.

3) Never use cloths or material to hold pieces of metal when polishing as this frequently becomes entangled with the mops or spindle and could result inloss of finer.

Grinding Processes

Goggles should be worn at all time to prevent paticles of metal entering the eyes and, in the case of fracture of thge grinding wheel, to protect the eyes from extremely dengerous flying fragment.

 

Machining Processes

  1. As in polishing, never have long hair or loose articles of clothing which may wrap around moving parts. When setting up a lathe, ensure that have the parts.
  2. The chuch=k keys are removed and that the lathe moves freely without obstruction. Do this by hand first before switching on the motor.
  3. Never lean over a piece of moving machinery
  4. Floors in lmachine shops can sometimes be greasy. See that non-slip mats are available in front of the machines.
  5. Remove swarf and turnings by brushing with a small brush. Epileptics should never be allowed to use any kind of machinery without close and constant supervision

 

Drilling

Flat pieces of metal have a tendency to spin around when the dill is almost through the material, and if held by hand can result in cut fingers. See that a clamp is used to hold the metal firmly.

 

Soldering Processes

Never solder up hollow spaces, however small, without providing and air hole for the expanding air to escape. Many a jeweler has lost his eye through neglect of this essential precaution.

 

Fire Precautions

  1. Fire extingushers should be readily available. These are of various kinds oil and petrol fire require different treatment from electrical fires. Water must never be used on these types of fire. Advice is provided on fire extinguishers by the Fire Department.
  2. Never leaver blow-torches alight during break periods and lunch hours.
  3. All waste material, particularly sawdust and waste paper, should reqularly be cleaned away from workshops
  4. Inflammable materials such as methy lated spirits, plastic cements and manyu proprietary brands of jointing materials should be stored separately away from any blow — torches or naked flames

 

Ventilation

Gas and acid fumes are dangerous and extractor fans should be used to remove these fumes. Windows should also be spened when necessary to ensure circulation of fresh air.

 

Guillotines

Never remove the finger guard from any guillotines or from other machinery where grards have been provided to protect you hands.

 

First Aid

A box of first aid equipment will be kept in every workshops and maintained up to the standard required. Note on first aid treatment will be kept by the first and box: e.g. treatment of burns, treatment for electric shock etc. Always ensure safety comes first in your practise. Without the basic procedures listed above, a working environment becomes a potential threat to everyone in and around it.

 

As always, remember that proper health and safety should be at the forefront of any project. Being responsible for the set-up and activities of your projects is a must, and keeping that in mind will truly benefit your journey as a jeweller.

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