I sliced up a finger pretty good on an end mill in the drill press. It doesn't work adn don't try it, it happens so fast you don't even feel it till the blood is running down your elbow and you see the ribbons of flesh.
The best solution for your drill press is to get an X/Y vise for your drill press, bolt it to the table and then start cutting perfect slots without any danger. They aren't that expensive. Be sure not to try to cut the full depth on the first pass, do a bit at a time working the vise one side to the other side using the control screw.