The “What Could Go Wrong?” Factor for Safer Cutting Tool Operation

The “What Could Go Wrong?” Factor for Safer Cutting Tool Operation

You’re late and rushing out of your house. As you look down you see the steps outside your door are covered in ice. A built-in mechanism of experience and self-preservation alerts you to “What Could Go Wrong?” You imagine yourself flying through the air towards a full body cast and a pile of unemployment forms. If your lucky. The result – you yield to caution and take steps to prevent a serious accident.

Machinery that was designed to cut metal with ease will always pose safety hazards if used without persistently considering what could go wrong if you fail to take the necessary steps to prevent a serious on-the-job accident.

Avoidable accidents can occur not only when working with new or unfamiliar equipment, but when we’ve become so accustomed to operating a machine we’re easily distracted – essentially working on “autopilot.”

It’s ironic the NHTSA reports that approximately 52 percent of all vehicle accidents occur within a five-mile radius of home, an area we are presumably much more familiar with.

No matter how much the operation of a machine may have become second nature to you, keep asking “What could go wrong?” If you are reaching into a machine to change bits, could the trigger get bumped? Could a machine you are moving start to rotate because it is still plugged in? Could a bit cut you or a chip fly out entering your eye, and so on.

The wise and safe approach is to fully understand your machine and it’s proper operation. Stick to all safe machine and PPE procedures. After all, being a virtuoso with your equipment is great, but remember to keep asking yourself the ever important question, “What could go wrong?”

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