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Great service from Aussie Sapphires again, this time we bought the rotary and vibrator tumblers, very please with your service. Thanks again Peter
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Lapidary Workshop Safety Advice


Staying safe when working or enjoying your hobby is very important.  It is always recommended to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and regularly review your work practices.

Please see the following articles for a range of safety advice relevant to the lapidary workshop:
Essentially, safety falls into a few main areas:

ELECTRICAL - install a safety switch, check power cords regularly (and tag them as required), unplug completely before servicing any machine, unplug machine when not in use.  Always be careful not to mix water and electricity

NOISE - many lapidary machines are quite noisy - hearing protection is always recommended.  Hearing loss is permanent so prevention is better than cure.

EYESIGHT - eye protection should always be worn when breaking or grinding rocks, mixing chemicals or many other workshop jobs.  In some cases, safety glasses may be sufficient but when in doubt, safety goggles are the safer option.  Your sight is precious - dont risk it!

AIR QUALITY - some types of rock dust can be extremely dangerous and sometimes the effects may not show up until years later.  ALWAYS grind rocks wet to reduce dust and wear a suitable mask or respirator to prevent dust getting into your lungs.  This applies to rock saws as well where cutting oil can vaporise.  Remember, if you can smell something (dust, chemicals, etc), it IS getting into your lungs.  Good cross ventilation is important - consider installing an exhaust system if you regularly work with chemicals, soldering, etc.

ERGONOMICS - when you are working at a machine, adjust chair height to suit the work space - some operations may be better done in a standing position.  Working in awkward positions leads to aches and pains which can easily be avoided.

ACCIDENTS - avoid contact with moving parts which may cause accidents.  Loose hair should be tied back and loose clothing covered to prevent being caught in spinning parts.  Although diamond blades are far less dangerous than wood cutting blades, keep fingers away - you may like to use finger tape or similar finger protection.

The Victorian Gem Clubs Association has produced  a DVD of safety information for the benefit of their member clubs.  If your club would like to obtain a copy, please contact the VGCA from this page.