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  • Writer's pictureRio Gutierrez

Plasma Table Safety Tips


Plasma Table Safety

Ah, the thrill! The electric buzz in the air as sparks dance and metal bends to your will, morphing from a cold, flat surface into something extraordinary—a true testament to your skill and vision.


But here's the deal: with great power comes great responsibility.


A stark reminder of this came in an accident report: An operator, just like any one of us, was working away and in a moment of oversight, they tried to snatch away a metal stop from the welding table while the machine had given instructions to return to its home position. 


The outcome? A painful reminder of what's at stake—a lost pinky tip, caught in the unforgiving pinch point between the bridge and the metal stop. Thankfully, it didn’t lead to a hospital trip, but it sure left a mark, literally and figuratively.


This is where we, FastCut CNC, step in—not just as your go-to experts but as your buddies when it comes to safety, too. We’ve seen it all, from awe-inspiring creations that leave us speechless to close calls that have us holding our breath. Trust us when we say, that the line between creating a masterpiece and witnessing a mishap is thinner than you might think.


What You Need To Know: The Sparks Behind the Danger

Before you can truly appreciate the importance of safety procedures, you need to understand what you’re up against. CNC plasma tables are surely incredible tools–but they’re not without their hazards.


Fumes and Vapors

When you're slicing through metal, you're not just creating sparks; you're also generating fumes that can range from mildly annoying to downright dangerous. These comprise various metals and gases, depending on what you're cutting.


Breathing in these microscopic invaders can do more than just ruin your day—it can have long-term health effects.


UV and Infrared Radiation

Now, onto something a bit more visible but equally treacherous. Yes, those sparks flying off your table are more than just a mesmerizing light show; they’re also emitting UV and infrared rays that could give your skin and eyes a really tough time.


Ever heard of “arc eye”?


Trust me, it’s not something you want to experience. It's like a sunburn but for your eyeballs! And it's as unpleasant as it sounds.


Noise

Something that might not seem like a big deal at first but trust me, it's a silent (well, not so silent) threat.

CNC plasma tables aren't known for their whisper-quiet operation. They can roar louder than a crowd at a rock concert, and over time, that noise isn’t just annoying—it can be downright harmful. We're talking about levels of sound that can lead to permanent hearing damage if you're not careful.


Also, continuous exposure to these high decibels can cause tinnitus (that annoying ringing in your ears that won't quit) or even long-term hearing loss. And let's be honest, nobody wants to end their day shouting, "What?!" at every conversation.


Electrical Hazards

This is where things get a bit shocking—pun intended.


CNC plasma cutters, with their high voltage and currents, are a veritable thunderstorm waiting to happen if not handled with respect. Electrical shocks can occur from improper grounding, faulty equipment, or even just plain old human error.


But it's not just shocks you need to worry about. Nope!


We're also looking at potential burns, muscle contractions so strong they could even cause you serious injuries, and in the worst-case scenario--electrocution. It's like dealing with a wild stallion; you need to know what you're doing, or you could get thrown off, HARD.


Fire Risk

When you're cutting metal with a jet of superheated plasma, sparks are going to fly, and those sparks can be more than just a cool visual effect. They're tiny embers looking for a dance partner, and if they find one in flammable materials nearby, it's going to be a fiery tango you didn't sign up for.


The combination of sparks, hot metal, and any combustible material in the vicinity is a recipe for a blaze. And not the kind you gather around for ghost stories. We're talking about an uncontrolled fire that can cause serious damage to your workshop, your equipment, and most importantly–you and your team.


Understanding these risks is the first step towards mitigating them. Remember, knowledge is power – and in this case, it’s the power to keep yourself safe.


What You MUST Do: Suiting Up for Plasma Cutter Safety Procedures


CNC Plasma Tables Hazards

Now that you know what you’re up against, let’s gear up!


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Eye Protection: Opt for a welding helmet with the proper shade number that meets the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or, at the very least, safety glasses with side shields.

  • Hearing Protection: Earplugs or earmuffs will do the trick. 

  • Respiratory Protection: A good-quality respirator is a MUST, especially in confined spaces where fumes can accumulate.

  • Protective Clothing: Fire-resistant clothing is your best bet here. Long sleeves, gloves, and leather boots will protect you from sparks and UV radiation.


Workspace Safety

  • Ventilation: Yes, keep the air moving! An exhaust system or even fans can help keep those nasty fumes away from your breathing space.

  • Fire Safety: Have a fire extinguisher handy, and always be aware of what’s around your cutting area. Flammable materials have no place near your plasma table, buddy.

  • Electrical Safety: Regularly inspect your machine and its components for any signs of wear and tear. Faulty equipment is a hazard waiting to happen. Also, proper grounding is crucial to prevent electrical shock during your plasma table operation. 


Operational Best Practices

  • Know Your Machine: Read the manual. Yes, the whole thing! Understanding your CNC plasma table inside and out is CRUCIAL.

  • Stay Alert: Never operate your machine if you’re tired or under the influence. Your reaction times and judgment need to be sharp.

  • Routine Checks: Before each use, do a quick run-through. Check your gas connections, torch, and grounding clamp. A little caution goes a long way.


By adhering to these safety precautions, you’re not just ensuring your well-being; you’re also guaranteeing the longevity and efficiency of your CNC plasma table. Safety and success go hand in hand – or, in our case, glove in glove.


FastCut CNC Plasma Cutting Tables: Where Plasma Cutter Safety Meets Precision

Here at FastCut CNC, we don’t just pride ourselves on creating some of the most robust and precise CNC plasma tables on the market--we also prioritize your SAFETY. You can cut with confidence, knowing we’ve got your back every step of the way.


Stay Sharp. Cut Smarter.

Whether you're a seasoned pro with years of metal dust in your boots or a newcomer eager to make your mark, SAFETY isn't just a guideline--it's the foundation of all GREAT WORK.


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