When you’re working with metal fabrication tools and metal, it’s important to follow a number of safety precautions. More importantly, anyone handling any of such tools and metals should receive sufficient training. Otherwise, they won’t be able to use the tools as effectively. Not to mention, they’ll be putting themselves and others around them at risk because of their lack of proficiency.
Below, you’ll find important safety tips for handling metal to help minimize any work-related accidents and injuries.
1. Proper training
Before you even think about handling metal, it is important to at least go through a basic metalworking safety orientation course.
Knowing the equipment, potential hazards, working conditions, and how to prevent accidents are all key to improving safety.
2. Double-check the equipment
Check every tool and equipment involved in the project before and after. Look out for any signs of wear and tear, malfunction, and more importantly, damage. If they are no longer in good working condition, report them immediately and don’t risk using them anymore.
At best, it will just take a lot longer for damaged equipment to finish metal works. But in a worst-case scenario, it can lead to accidents, and possibly even death.
3. Proper safety wear and precaution
Workers should always wear the required clothing and remove anything that might put them at risk, including loose clothes and jewellery.
Handling metal requires a lot of pushing and pulling, and sometimes, things can get stuck in machines. The way protective gear is made is to make sure that they are not as susceptible to being pushed or pulled and not all clothes are made with that in mind.
Always observe proper gear when handling metal. Otherwise, it’s an accident waiting to happen.
4. Use tools and equipment properly
Although this is usually covered during the training session, it is still important to remind workers not to use equipment and tools for which they are not intended for.
The reason is that they might not be able to do it as effectively. Or, they might get damaged. Also, even if the majority of tools, especially large machinery, are equipped with safety features to prevent them from being overworked, it’s imperative that the workers handling such equipment know what signs to watch out for so that they know if and when they are overworking the tools or equipment.
5. Wear respiratory protection
A lesser-known risk of working with metal is the inhalation of dust particles as well as of other chemicals. But luckily, more and more companies are acknowledging this. Thus, they are now requiring their workers to wear proper respiratory protection as part of their work gear.
Make sure that all metal workers are wearing standard respiratory protection to minimize their risk of respiratory illness and disease.
6. Invest in quality equipment
Cheaping out on metal equipment will cost you a lot more in the long run, both in terms of maintenance and increased risk for workplace-related injuries.
The best equipment is never cheap, but they are definitely of high quality. They’ll last longer and are more effective. More importantly, they’re much safer to use, which ultimately can save your company a lot of money in the long run.
Handling metal requires a lot more knowledge and training than you can even imagine, so it should not be taken lightly. Making sure that your operators have received proper training through their course is vital in making sure that they are handling metal the right way.