Benders are widely used in workshops and on construction sites to bend pipes, bars and sheet metal at precise angles. This is not the safest of operations, so benders must be scrupulously maintained and operated with care. Contractors who buy or hire them for a particular job are especially at risk, so here are some elementary safety tips.
Did It Come with a Manual?
Not all bending machines are the same. It’s important to familiarise yourself with the limitations of the one you have. If you’ve picked up a machine without a manual, contact the supplier to see if you can get hold of it. Also look for an approved training course or advertise for an experienced operator.
Metals are both heavy and elastic, so they can bounce and turn in unexpected directions. There are frequently sharp edges that slice like razors. Your PPE should include full safety goggles, heavy-gloves and steel-toed footwear as a minimum. Protective headwear and padded clothing are also desirable.
Use the Best Equipment
This is not the kind of equipment to cut corners on. Ask the supplier to confirm it is adequate for your precise purpose. One serving Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds is http://www.cotswold-machinery-sales.co.uk/euromac/bending-machines/. They can also provide maintenance advice.
One Machine – One Operator
Never let one person have a foot on the pedal while others perform other parts of the procedure. You wouldn’t let a passenger in your car control your brakes.
Take your time to set up the correct angles before it starts. Rebars that are not parallel with the bender table can take unexpected paths and strike the operator.
Count Your Fingers
The most risky moment is when the bar starts bending toward the roller. If a guiding hand gets trapped between, nothing is going to stop that gap closing. Unfortunately it is a common accident.
Properly functioning bending machines barely need any manual guidance once in motion. Keep your hands (and other appendages) out of its way if you want to keep them.
Routine work lulls us into complacency; fatigue lulls us to sleep. Strictly limit the time you spend on these machines. If you are under the weather or on medication, do not even attempt it. Many people under-estimate the effect of antihistamines. Contrary to frequent advice, all antihistamines can cause serious drowsiness.