V. Ryan © 2003 - 2021
1. Study the two diagrams below, that show the drilling machine being used. What is wrong with the way the machine is being used in diagram ‘A’, compared to diagram ‘B’?
2. The drilling machine is being used in an UNSAFE manner. Identify all the areas that show DANGEROUS use of the machine. One example has been identified for you.
1. The machine operator is not wearing goggles to protect his eyes.
This could lead to a serious injury, if pieces of waste material are thrown out of the drilling area.
2. A workshop apron or overall is not being worn.
This means that the operators loose clothing (tie and shirt), could be caught by the rotating chuck and pull him in to the machine.
3. The machine operator is being distracted by someone behind him.
People waiting to use the drill, should be waiting behind a safety line, drawn a distance away from the machine. There should be no attempt to distract the machine operator.
4. He is not concentrating fully on safely drilling the material. He is thinking about his lunch, at the same time as using the machine.
When using any machine or piece of workshop equipment, the complete concentration of the machine operator is required.
5. The guard protecting the machine operator is broken.
All guards should be checked by the machine operator. Any damage should be reported to the teacher immediately and the machine shut down, until repaired.
6. Debris and waste material is covering the floor and the foot switch.
Waste material / debris should be cleared away. Machines should be left clean, for the next user. The build up of debris around / on a machine is dangerous.
7. He is holding the material in his hand and the clamp he should be using, is on the floor.
Holding material in the hand and machining at the same time, is extremely dangerous. Hands and fingers could easily be pulled into the rotating parts. Also, the material could be spun round at high speed, endangering the machine user’s fingers and hand.
8. An electrical wire is coming out of the damaged reinforced / armoured wire, behind the machine.
The drilling machine should be checked for damage / wear and tear everyday. The machine operator should also check the machine before it is used . The machine should be shut down, until the damage / faults can be repaired.
9. The top / cover of the drilling machine is not locked down. The rotating parts inside the drilling machine, can be seen and accessed when the machine is in use. This is very dangerous.
The lid / top / cover of the drilling machine, should safely hide the rotating parts and the belt. These exposed moving parts, spinning at high speed should be enclosed. They are dangerous if not covered. The lid / cover should be bolted shut.
10. It should not be possible to switch ‘on’ the machine, if the lid / cover is open. A micro-switch inside the cover, should prevent the machine from working. However, if the drill still works with the lid open, it means that the switch is faulty and it should be replaced.
The micro switch inside the lid should prevent the machine being powered on, if the cover / lid is released and opened. In schools, the cover is normally bolted shut.

3. The drilling machine is being used safely. Identify all the areas that show SAFE use of the machine. One example has been identified for you.


1. The machine operator is wearing goggles to protect his eyes, from any waste material, thrown out by the drilling process.
2. He is wearing a suitable workshop overall, which keeps him clean and holds back any loose clothing, such as a tie. A workshop apron is also suitable.
3. The work / material is held down securely by a G-cramp. The material cannot move during drilling. The machine operator uses one hand to control the movement of the drill chuck and the other to turn the machine on and off. A range of clamping devices, can be used to safely secure the material to the table of the drilling machine. A hand vice is a special clamp, that clamps the material safely, while being held in the hand.
4. The machine has been checked by the machine operator for any damage, before it is used. It has also been checked by the teacher.
5. When drilling the material, a small amount of pressure is applied to the handles / hand feed. This ensures that the drill bit, slowly cuts through the material. If the material is drilled too quickly, the drill bit can jam, due to the rapid build-up of waste and heat. The heat expands the drill bit, causing it to jam. This is dangerous.
6. After drilling the material, the operator turns the machine off and isolates the power supply. He cleans the machine, leaving it ready for use by the next person. The goggles are left hanging on the machine or next to the machine.
7. The correct drill bit is being used. The machine operator selects a bit, to suit the material and size of hole, that he is about to drill.
8. A dust mask can be worn, if the drilling procedure, leads to lots of dust being generated. Normally a dust mask is not required.
9. The floor around the machine is cleared of an obstructions and people. Anyone waiting to use the machine, should be stood at a distance. The white line around the machine, should not be crossed by anyone waiting.