Product Safety


The points and procedures in this section are offered as an aid. It is hoped that by complying with them, job safety can be improved and accidents can be prevented. It is the responsibility of the press owner to provide point of operation guarding – see OSHA regulations and ANSI standards. It is the responsibility of the press operator to report to his supervisors any unsafe conditions or unusual press behavior. Neither the list of points is intended to be complete, nor is the order in which the points appear relative to their importance.


  1. Never operate a power press unless you have read and understand the safety and instruction portion of the manual pertaining to your operation.
  2. Make sure the work area and the press are free of all obstacles.
  3. Make sure feeds, piece parts, etc., are properly adjusted and ready to run.
  4. Check clutch air pressure gauge and counterbalance gauge (if Included) for proper pressure setting.
  5. Make sure that all press covers, safety devices, and die safety blocks are in their proper positions. A.N.S.I B11.1 safety standards states that, “The employer shall provide and enforce the use of safety blocks for use whenever dies are being adjusted or repaired.”
  6. Inspect press and dies for safe operating condition.
  7. Never reach into die area to lubricate tooling. Use long handle brushes, swabs, rollers, etc., or remote lubrication arrangements.


  1. Have supervisor set the press stroking selector switch to the desired mode of operation.
  2. Cycle press several times and observe carefully that the mode is set correctly and that the clutch and brake are functioning properly.


  1. Never place fingers, hands, or any part of the body in the dangerous die area or near any other moving part of the press.
  2. Never by-pass safety devices or tamper with factory wiring.
  3. Never operate a power press with a foot switch unless positive means are provided to keep the operator away from the die area.
  4. Use safety tools, fixtures and supporting devices for loading and unloading especially in narrow forming, piercing, and notching operations.
  5. For manual loading or unloading, use safety tools that are in good condition.
  6. Use care and good judgment in material handling. Never stack parts or any other objects on the bolster plate, or slide plate, or near the die area. Use scrap and parts containers and never allow them to become over filled.
  7. Don’t become careless or overconfident. Avoid preoccupation, inattention, distraction and talking. Stay alert at all times. While feeding the machine, don’t stand or sit on anything that could cause you to fall, slip, or stumble into the die area or under the press slide.
  8. If part jams or press stalls, always shut off all power and exhaust the air from the die cushion (if furnished). Before attempting to take any corrective measures, call your supervisor.


  1. When discontinuing use of press or leaving press, shut off all power and stop flywheel. Use flywheel brake if furnished; otherwise, let flywheel coast to a halt. Have supervisor lock disconnect switch in the “off” position and on presses with part revolution clutches, have him also turn the press stroking selector switch to the “off” position and remove key. Never leave an unattended press running.
  2. On Presses with part revolution (air) clutches, leave the slide at bottom of stroke when discontinuing use of press.
  3. For adjustments, repairs, or replacement if necessary to position slide above bottom of stroke, always support slide by inserting safety blocks between bed and slide. Insure that safety blocks are adequate.


This section of “Press Safety Guidelines for Management is intended to help the user management establish and maintain a realistic control program for press safety. By defining and pointing out definite areas of responsibility we trust that the entire safety program will receive the leadership and full participation of all level of management. Program objectives and employee responsibilities must be established and defined in order to have a successful and effective program; it must be constantly reviewed and updated by management. Management must encourage such a program by promoting safety, maintaining interest, and by staying actively involved.


  1. Appoint a Safety Coordinator, to be responsible for safety regulations, requirements and suggestions. He must review and investigate all accidents and “close calls.”
  2. Establish and issue press room safety rules. Inform each employee of his responsibilities. Make sure he understands them and knows what is expected of him.
  3. A thorough review and an early inspection must be made of existing presses, dies and point of operation guarding to attain the degree of responsibility required by A.N.S.I. B11.1 Safety Standards and federal and state laws, OSHA. Review what mandatory modifications are necessary.
  4. Equipment that is no longer safe and that cannot be economically upgraded should be destroyed.
  5. Never allow persons legally under age to operate or assist in the operation of a power press.
  6. All personnel must be properly trained to eliminate accidents and injuries.
  7. Regardless of the operator’s experience, education or language barrier, it is the responsibility of the supervisor to give him a thorough explanation with each new job assignment.
  8. No employee should be given a work assignment that he does not fully understand. Only properly instructed and thoroughly trained personnel should be assigned to work on or with any power press.
  9. It shall be the responsibility of the employer to provide and adequate, clean, safe and uncluttered work area around each power press.
  10. If a press malfunction is reported, stop the press immediately, correct the problem, then resume production.
  11. Investigate all accidents and close calls. Analyze the reason for occurrence. Take action to prevent recurrence. Keep records of the investigation and preventive steps that were taken.
  12. Only employees who understand the press, dies, operator and safety requirements and who are able to communicate this knowledge should be given the responsibility of instructing and training others to perform as power press operators.
  13. Press user management must decide what personal protective safety equipment is required to perform each job safely. Items such as safety glasses, shoes, gloves, helmets, hand pads, spats, protective sleeves and material handling equipment are common in the metal working industry. If noise levels are excessive protective head sets and ear muffs are recommended.
  14. When designing point of operation guarding, or dies, the manufacturing process should be weighed heavily in favor of operational safety.
  15. Establish safe and convenient material handling methods and procedures.
  16. Post in convenient areas the names, addresses, and phone numbers of physicians, hospitals, and members of the organization who are to be called in case of emergency.
  17. All equipment must be electrically connected according to the National Electric Code and be consistent with other accepted practices.
  18. Provide adequate and proper fire protection equipment.


  1. Press manufacturers do not know and cannot foresee the magnitude of optional applications of power press. Therefore, only the press user can determine the type of guards that have to be used in order to perform the job safely. It is the responsibility of the user management to make certain that point of operation guarding and other necessary safety devices are installed. The press should be guarded in such a manner that it is impossible for the operators to place their hands or any other part of the body in the die area.
  2. The press user should become thoroughly acquainted with the safety devices commonly employed in power press operations.
  3. Feeding devices are strongly recommended, since they remove the operator from the die area, and therefore allow more effective utilization of guards and safety devices.
  4. Do not release a press for production before installing and testing all guards and covers.
  5. Make frequent evaluation checks of all press guarding and devices while the press is running. Correct all unsafe findings immediately.


  1. All maintenance and inspection personnel should be specifically instructed, and must understand proper maintenance and inspection procedures.
  2. Set up daily, weekly, and monthly press inspection program. Use a checklist and verify that the job is done correctly.
  3. Establish a preventive maintenance program. Records of all maintenance work performed must be kept.
  4. Since all equipment has limited life, high quality maintenance personnel are required to obtain maximum usage of your equipment.
  5. Reusing a power press for production following maintenance should be the responsibility of a qualified individual assigned by management.
  6. To maintain the original level of press reliability careful inspection of mechanical, electrical, and pneumatic areas must be made. This may give advance warning of a hazard which then can be corrected to prevent possible injuries and damage.


In order to have an effective safety program, management at all levels must enforce every safety rule and regulation. Strong disciplinary measures are sometimes required. They should consist of a warning, written reprimand, work suspension, transfer, demotion, or possibly a dismissal. All infractions must be reported and recorded. Once an infraction is noted, it shows that an unsafe practice or condition has existed. This may be the result of poor planning or improper training and instructing. The reason for the infraction should be analyzed in order to take corrective action.


It should be the responsibility of management to instruct their supervisors on safety, giving job instructions, supervising operators, determining accident causes, and building safety attitudes among the press operators. Many accidents have occurred due to a supervisor’s lack of training.


It shall be the responsibility of management to insure proper training of press operators. A specific training program should be instituted to instruct the operator in safety, proper use of the press, and correct operational procedure in performing each and every job. In addition to the supervisor, the operator should be familiar with the proper guarding of the die area. Never permit an operator to start a job without complete instructions from his immediate supervisor.



In order to alert and remind all personnel associated with power presses of the hazards resulting from unsafe practices and procedures. The Heim Group has a series of warning signs attached to every new press. These signs are not meant to frighten anybody, neither should they be interpreted that the press is an unsafe piece of equipment.
CAUTION: IF THE EMPLOYEE DOES NOT READ OR UNDERSTAND ENGLISH, IT IS THE EMPLOYER’S RESPONSIBILITY TO INTERPRET AND EXPLAIN ALL WARNING SIGNS. It is very important that signs not be removed, defaced, hidden or covered. Review older equipment for updating of safety signs. If existing signs are damaged or additional signs are required, they can be obtained from The Heim Group. Press user management should add additional signs to warn against hazards if auxiliary equipment is used with or installed on the press. Illustrated are the most frequently used warning signs which are self-explanatory.


Management should encourage safe practices and promote safety through an active safety program. Money losses due to accidents are considerable, but the humanitarian reasons are far more serious. Unlike monetary losses, lost hands and fingers can never be replaced. Adhering to the most important rule in any press room, “NEVER PLACE ANY PART OF YOUR BODY UNDER SLIDE OR WITHIN THE DIE AREA UNLESS THE FLYWHEEL IS STOPPED, POWER IS OFF AND THE SLIDE IS BLOCKED,” will greatly aid in an effective safety program. Guarding the point of operation and all auxiliary equipment is of the greatest importance. Additional information may be obtained from the National Safety Council, State Departments of Labor, the United States Department of Labor and other sources.