Laser Cutter Risk Assessment

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Activity

Laser cutting various materials by trained operators.

Hazard identification

Consider the hazards involved in conducting this activity and list each hazard

1. Fire

2a. Laser Safety (burns)

2b. Laser Safety (eyes)

3. Lid

4. Electrical safety

5. Toxic chemicals and air quality

6. Noise


Persons at risk

Consider who might be put at risk by the hazards listed above

  • The user is subject to 1-6
  • The space and all occupants are subject to 1,2a,2b,5,6

Initial assessment of risk

Hazard identified Severity Probability Risk Factor (Severity x probability)
1.Fire 4 1 4
2a.Laser (burns) 4 2 8
2b.Laser (eyes) 5 2 10
3.Lid 2 2 4
4.Electrical safety 5 2 10
5. Toxic chemicals and air quality 4 2 8
6. Noise 2 3 6


Categorising the risk level as 1-4(Low), 5-9(Moderate), 10-15(High) or 16-25 (Unacceptable) shows that the potential level of risk in this activity is Moderate. Further measures are needed to reduce the risk to a low level.

Control measures

Laser cutter is only to be used by trained operators. All members are aware of this rule, and it is clearly marked on the laser cutter.

  • Necessary control measures arising from the hazard identified of Fire are:
    • Don't leave the machine running unattended.
    • Annual PAT testing for electrical safety
    • dedicated CO2 fire extinguisher for the laser cutters.
  • Necessary control measures arising from the hazard identified of Laser (2a,2b) are:
    • Lock all access doors to prevent accidental opening
    • Interlocks on the lid to prevent operation with lid partially open
  • Necessary control measures arising from the hazard identified of Lid are:
    • Warn users about lid operation, ensure lid correctly maintained.
  • Necessary control measures arising from the hazard identified of Electric Shock are:
    • Annual PAT test
    • Carry out a visual check and check the test date before use.
  • Necessary control measures arising from the hazard identified of Chemical emissions are:
    • Operators are to be trained to be aware of the risks of toxic gases being given of during the cutting process. Users are told what they can cut without issue (acrylic, wood, laser plywood). Operators are told to consult the laser cutter owners or our Wiki if they plan to cut a material which has not been sold 'for laser cutter use'. Operators are also trained to challenge fellow operators if they are cutting a material they do not recognise.

Training measures relevant to RA: - All operators to continually watch their job for signs of fire, machine to be watched at all times. - Fire extinguisher awareness

  • Noise levels are significant but not excessive. Lasers are used intermittently so the noise level is not hazardous.

Actions:

  • Label Laser with 'only to be used by trained operators'
  • PAT test
  • Post risk assessment and operating procedure next to laser

Final assessment of risk

The assessed risk taking into account the implementation of the control measures listed, and adherence to the SSOW (Safe System of Work) if applicable is as follows:

Hazard identified Severity Probability Risk Factor (Severity x probability)
1.Fire 4 1 4
2a.Laser (burns) 4 1 4
2b.Laser (eyes) 5 1 5
3.Lid 2 2 4
4.Electrical safety 5 1 5
5.Toxic chemicals and air quality 4 1 4
6. Noise 2 2 4

When completing Risk Assessment please consider if First Aid assistance might be appropriate if the calculated Risk level (Severity x Probability) is greater than 5

The risk now falls into the category LOW and is considered to be acceptable.

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