As people adopt more hobbies in this ongoing pandemic, they’ll continue to demand bespoke products and services. If you deal with metal and wooden products, customization will benefit your business tremendously. You can offer custom-made home decor, personalized musical instruments, or everyday products like beverage flasks or tumblers. According to research, consumers are willing to pay more for customized products.
Consumers love such products because it makes them feel like they’re part of the product development process. It creates a mindset called “I built it. Therefore, I own it.” Even if the product is just a simple mug or dishrag, a customer will feel a stronger attachment if their name is written on it.
Indeed, don’t you feel the same attachment with your jersey or school textbooks? You might not have made them, but seeing your name or even just your initials on those products can make you feel a little possessive of them.
Hence, generating income with a laser cutter is important for your business if you want to get ahead of your competitors. But there are some safety considerations to make. Working with laser lights and power tools can affect your health and ability to conduct business.
That said, here are the safety factors to consider before getting started:
1. The Nature of Power Tools
Power tools come with a user’s manual for a reason. Even though you can follow a YouTube tutorial to learn how to use them, perusing the user’s manual remains crucial. Not all power tools are made equal; different manufacturers have different specifications. The best way to learn how to handle one is to learn from its manufacturer itself.
Even a split-second of misuse can cause a life-threatening injury, so consider reading the user’s manual a non-negotiable. If you need a video demonstration, check the manufacturer’s website, or buy in-store to witness an in-person demonstration.
2. Your Work Environment
A cluttered work area can be a safety hazard. If you’re using power tools, you must create a method of keeping the cables away from your path. This would prevent the cables from getting tangled and being a trip hazard.
Mind your flammable liquids as well. Your power tools should be kept far away from them. In addition, ensure that your work area is off-limits to kids. This won’t be a problem if you work away from home, but since the pandemic moved workplaces to homes, this might be something you need to consider.
3. Your Grip Strength and Balance
Grip strength and balance are crucial when using power tools. A firm grip will allow you to stay in control of the tool, reducing the risks of an injury. Balance, meanwhile, can help you maintain a proper posture while using the tools. As such, you need to wear non-slip footwear before getting to work.
If you feel like a tool is too heavy for you, use a lighter alternative instead. Your firm grip and non-slip footwear won’t prevent injuries if your body itself can’t handle the tool.
4. Blinding Laser Light
Before using a laser cutter, wear eye protection, such as a pair of safety goggles. A milliwatt of laser engraver can emit light energy that’s three times stronger than the sun’s rays. Looking directly at it without eye protection can instantly damage your retina, cornea, and the lens of your eye.
Luckily, severe eye damage is rare among laser engravers, but it’s always a looming risk. So don’t take your safety for granted by foregoing eye protection.
Using power tools and laser cutters can emit fumes. Construction dust can be an allergen, while fumes from lasers can harm your health and well-being. Choose a laser engraver or cutting machine with air filters to ensure that the fumes won’t be a health risk. Also, don’t attempt to cut or engrave PVC with the machine. Use only the materials that can be subject to laser safely.
The fumes can also be a fire hazard, although laser machines are generally fire-safe. But still, the liquids from your other flammables can start a fire if you don’t handle them well. Plus, on rare occasions, engraving metal with a laser might ignite a very small flame. That can quickly turn into a fire if left unattended.
So establish fire safety measures such as having a fire extinguisher nearby and keeping your fire hazards in a safe place. Your insurance policies can only do so much in keeping your business alive if a fire ravages it.
Customization requires more work than mass-producing the same type of products. As such, it can be plagued with risks and safety hazards. Take note of these safety factors to ensure that your new business venture won’t meet a disaster.