Safety Tips For Operating A Hydraulic Press Brake For The First Time

If you are just starting to learn metal fabrication and will be working with a hydraulic press brake machine for the first time, then use these safety tips to protect yourself from injury.

Safety Tip: Ensure the Safety Beams are Working Correctly Before Using the Press Brake

All press brake machines have laser beam safety devices to prevent the machine from accidentally injuring your fingers. Before you bend the first sheet of metal, check to ensure the safety beam system is working as designed. 

Safety Tip: Never Put Your Hands Between the Punch and Die

When you activate the press brake, the upper punch will start dropping down to the lower die. Since the punch goes into the die, it will seriously injure your fingers if they get caught between these two pieces. Since random things can always happen, you should never put your hands between the upper and lower arms of the machine - even when it isn't in operation.

Safety Tip: Use the Programmable Back Gauge to Make Multiple Bends Easier

If the hydraulic press brake you are using is a newer model that has a programmable back gauge, you should absolutely learn how to use it. Before the invention of the programmable back gauge, you had to manually move the sheet metal each time you wanted to make another bend. A safer and more accurate way to make multiple bends on the same sheet of metal is to use a programmable back gauge.

Safety Tip: Use the Installed Movable Side Guards to Protect Your Fingers

Before you step on the pedal to drop the punch onto the die, make sure you move the side guards into place. The movable side guards are there to protect your hands from injury as well as those of other people who enter your workspace.

Safety Tip: Stay Alert at All Times

Since you are new to working with a hydraulic press brake, you must stay alert at all times. Simply putting your hand down in the wrong place at the wrong time could end in a very serious injury. If you start to feel distracted or fatigued, take a break and then get back to your metal bending project.

Safety Tip: Ask Experienced Coworkers Any Questions You Have

Finally, don't hesitate to ask your coworkers questions when you need additional help. Experienced operators are always willing to help new operators stay safe while working with press brake machines.

For more information, contact a company like Sierra Victor Industries.