No, if it's a printer you'll be fine to remove it w/out using the "Safely Remove Hardware". Now if it was a flash drive or hard drive, then I would say yes use the feature because it tells the computer to unmount the drive and make sure everything is saved properly so you don't lose any info. So yeah you don't have to use it to remove a printer.
I have an external hard drive connected by usb. WHat happens if I remove the USB without selecting "safely remove hardware". Is this bad for the laptop? Does it matter if it is a printer.