Routers CNC routers and spindle moulders: hazard identification

Risk management strategy for router machines which identifies hazards that can expose a worker to the risk of injury, and records the measures used to remove or reduce the level of risk.

Risk management identifies hazards that can expose a worker to the risk of injury, and records the measures used to remove or reduce the level of risk.

The following table is a risk management strategy for router machines

Risk management strategy

Hazard identification

Risk factors

Risk control  measures


Cutting hazard created by the cutters

  • Exposed section of the cutter
  • Premature start-up of the machine
  • Tripping hazards
  • Slippery floor surfaces
  • Perimeter fence guarding or presence-sensing system encloses entire router to prevent access to moving parts
  • All moving parts behind the fence are enclosed
  • The entire cutter head (other than that for cutting) is enclosed within guarding
  • Clear workspace is maintained around the machine
  • Safety tooling, including jigs or fixtures, are used when manually feeding the work piece

Crushing from transmission driven or associated equipment

  • Maintenance access to internal area of the router machine
  • Fixed guarding encloses all transmission and associated moving parts

Object being ‘thrown’ by the router cutters

  • Work piece is not held securely when being cut and lifts off the work table
  • Cutters are blunt and catch on the timber
  • Cutters are run at higher speeds than they are designed for
  • Use a jig to hold the work piece firmly as it is guided past the cutter
  • Ensure the cutters are sharp and clean with a regular maintenance program
  • Safety glasses are worn by the operator
  • Ensure the right cutters are used for the right timber and that maximum tool speeds are not exceeded
  • Vacuum system holds work piece in place, and if the vacuum pressure drops, the machine stops

Manual handling when feeding and retrieving timber  from the router

  • Poor work height due to fixed height of work Variation in material size, shape and weight
  • Provide standing platform for the operator to work at a safe and comfortable height
  • Store raw materials at appropriate height to avoid the need for bending or twisting
  • Use a second person to guide long or large pieces from the machine

Slips, trips and falls

  • Obstructed or cluttered work area around the machine
  • Slippery and uneven floor surface
  • Maintain a clear work space in and around the machine
  • Provide non-slip floor surfaces that give a firm foothold

Airborne contaminants

(eg dust and vapours)

  • High speed cutting action
  • Ventilation/extraction system poorly maintained
  • Provide and maintain local exhaust ventilation
  • Wear protective personal equipment (ppe) such as face masks
  • Regularly vacuum dust and sawdust
  • Note: Do not use compressed air to remove dust from skin or clothing

Noise from machinery operation and production processes

  • Different woods creating varying noise levels when being processed
  • Various machines in the area operating simultaneously
  • Local acoustic dampening to reduce noise levels
  • Hearing protectors used by all people accessing the workshop
  • Warning signs erected in the work

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