As the picture shows, the machine, in its initial state, posed a serious safety hazard. 
The drum is exposed and could catch hands or loose clothing and pull the person into 
the device, causing serious injury.  The main head drive mechanism has exposed belts and pulleys that pose the same hazard.  There are also no safety cut-off switches located on the sides or ends of the machine that could stop the machine if someone were caught. 

The other major safety hazard is caused by the wood strips that are being sanded.  If the suction on the sanding bed is lost, the wood strip could potentially be launched by the sanding drum.  Because of the high velocities involved, the wood could pose a serious safety risk. 


We did several things to make the machine safe:
  1. Placed guards around the drum that, when raised, shut off the machine's power
  2. Put protective shrouds around the belts and pulleys on the drive motor
  3. Made a protective barrier at the end of the machine to catch the wood if the suction is lost
  4. Placed large, red, emergency shut-off buttons at easily-accessible positions
This mechanism provides a safety cutoff, killing all power to the machine, if the drum guard is raised.  It also makes changing the sandpaper easier.  Despite the guard, we still insist that the machine be unplugged before the sandpaper is changed due to the power of the drum motor.