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Safety precautions for extrusion blow molding

Safety is everyone’s responsibility in the workplace. Safety is most often related to good maintenance practice and good housekeeping. Safety needs to be an attitude that is always present in your daily activities. Employees should not be hesitant to voice safety concerns in the workplace. Management is just as committed to safety as the operators on the floor; the primary difference is that the operators are usually the closest to unsafe conditions; keep management advised of unsafe conditions.

The following list includes items which should be maintained to assure a safe working environment:

1. Floor and machine should be kept free of oil.
2. Floor and machine should be kept free of pellets.
3. Never reach over or under machine guards.
4. Never climb between the tie bars when hydraulic pumps are running.
5. Never disconnect or by-pass safety switches on guards.
6. In order to prevent mechanical hazards such as limbs being drawn into or trapped in the machinery, operators should not wear personal effects such as bracelets, watches, rings or chains during work shifts engaged in operating the blow molding machine.
7. Process only materials that are specified for use with the blow molding machine by the machine manufacturer.
8. Always wear adequate noise protection.
9. Use caution and wear protective gloves when making adjustments on hot die head components and manifolds.
10. Catwalks or platforms with railing should be present if hoppers such as drying hoppers stand tall enough whereby access requires climbing onto machine.
11. Know location of portable fire extinguishers; there should be an extinguisher no farther than 75 feet.
12. All electrical outlets should be marked as to the line voltage.
13. Never reach into the throat of an operating granulator. Unplug granulators before working on.
14. Always wear suitable foot and eye protection; safety glasses should be worn and steel toed shoes are recommended; soft soled shoes should not be worn.
15. Doe not operate any equipment unless suitable training has been completed.
16. All employees should be advised of any chemicals in the facility which are considered hazardous; read further about “Right To Know” laws for each particular state.
17. First aid kits should be available.
18. Advise operators that blow molding resin pressure can reach 4,000 psi and that hydraulic line pressure can reach 2500 psi. Clamp tonnage developed equals 2000 lbs of force for each ton; operators be advised.
19. Be conscious of sharp square corners on mold components and cavity parting line edges.
20. Razor knives also require extreme caution as their use results in many cuts.
21. NEVER use steel tools on the mold cores, cavities or parting line… Use brass, copper or aluminum. Brass can scratch highly polished steel, so use caution.
22. Do not stick fingers or rods into the barrel/screw feed throat area.
23. Examine air hoses and electrical cords to verify condition is proper; do not use cords with damaged insulation. Be especially observant when working near nozzle heater bands as these wires are easily
24. damaged.
25. Use only swivel type safety eyebolts; screw eyebolts far enough in such that thread engagement is 1.5 times the diameter.
26. Never stand directly below a mold suspended in air.
27. Avoid back injuries; lift properly with the back upright and straight; know your limitations and do not exceed them; use proper tools and get help when needed.




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