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Harnessing powerful forces to do precision work can get messy when those forces are not harnessed properly. In a machining environment, it is of the utmost importance that you are not lulled into complacency. What follows is a discussion of the dangers associated with electrical discharge machining and what you can do to avoid them.

Electric Shock
You may not be surprised to learn that electrical discharge machining presents a hazard of electrical shock. As an EDM operator, there are certain things you can do to minimize this risk.

• Never touch the electrode while the machine is in operation.
• Make sure that your work area is grounded.
• Make sure that the area around the machine is dry.
• Do not wear conductive clothing or accessories such as jewelry.

Attire
• Wear appropriate eyewear, and never look directly at the spark.
• Wear closed toe, non-slip shoes with rubber soles. Shoes should be comfortable as well, since you may be standing for extended periods of time.

General Safety Tips
• Keep your machine well-maintained. Your machine should clean and lubricated. When it needs maintenance, make sure the work is done by a well-qualified professional.
• Know your machine. One of the best ways to prevent accidents is to not do anything whose consequences you are not well aware of. Learning the idiosyncrasies of your machine will minimize the unexpected.
• Keep the area around your machine free of flammable materials.
• Stay alert and give your undivided attention to machining. Intoxication on the job should be avoided.