ANSI Z308.1-2015 Standard Minimum Requirements  Workplace First Aid Kits and Supplies - Buy new ANSI Kits
ANSI Z308.1-2015 Standard Minimum Requirements Workplace First Aid Kits and Supplies - Buy new ANSI Kits

Top 5 Safety Tips For Metal Fabrication Workers

Manufacturing in general is a hazardous occupation. Metalwork in particular is one of the most dangerous jobs within that field, and it takes a great deal of precaution and attention to detail to do it safely. It helps to understand the most common hazards and then take the appropriate steps to keep safe. Below, read the top five safety tips for safe metal fabrication.Metal-Work

What are the Dangers?

Every metal fabrication task is different, but there are certain hazards common to the field, at large. Here are a few of the most common dangers:

- Musculoskeletal. Materials handling is labor intensive. As such, one of the more common injuries in metal fabrication has to do with sprains, joint problems and neck and back injuries. Other common issues include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and other ailments caused by repetitive motion.
- Contact. In metal fabrication, you use some heavy-duty tools, many of which are very dangerous. Coming in contact with some of these pieces of equipment can lead to cuts, burns and other forms of trauma.
- Vision. From flying debris from cutting to bright lights from welding, eye and vision injuries are very common in metal fabrication.
- Hearing. Manufacturing is loud, and unfortunately, for many people, the loud environment is mostly tolerable. However, as tolerable as it is, it is still very hazardous and can result in hearing injuries.

What should you be doing? Here are some ways you and your workers can negate the common hazards of metal fabrication.

1. Wear Protective Clothing

Unlike many professions, hazards can come at sheet metal fabrication workers from virtually any angle, from head to toe. Your specific garb will vary from work site to work site, but protective personal equipment should be made available regardless. That includes hard hats to protect from falling objects or other impacts, goggles or face shields to deflect particles and harmful lights, safety shoes to protect against slips or injury from contact, and safety gloves to protect against incredibly hot temperatures, electricity and abrasions from particularly sharp tools. Consult OSHA guidelines to determine which types of personal protective equipment are best for your specific task.

Welder's Kit - 16 Unit - 114 piece w/ 1/2 oz. Industrial Eye Drops & 1 Oz. Eye Wash - Plastic Case w/ Gasket - 1 Each Industrial strength workers deserve industrial strength care. Our 114-piece, 16-unit welder's first aid kit focuses on a wide range of injuries common to welders such as minor cuts, sprains, welder's arc and other common eye irritations. Products are contained in a sturdy plastic case with gasket. Welder's Kit - 16 Unit - 114 piece w/ 1/2 oz. Industrial Eye Drops & 1 Oz. Eye Wash - Plastic Case w/ Gasket - 1 Each
Industrial strength workers deserve industrial strength care. Our 114-piece, 16-unit welder's first aid kit focuses on a wide range of injuries common to welders such as minor cuts, sprains, welder's arc and other common eye irritations. Products are contained in a sturdy plastic case with gasket.

2. Install Metal Screening

Metalworking environments often have a large number of moving parts and hot surfaces that could easily harm workers. Many companies install screening around these areas to prevent any chance of injury. Screens can be made from either perforated metal or expanded metal and they’re often easy to install. A solid barrier like screening can be a great way to stop employees from drifting too close to dangerous equipment.

3. Do Thorough Tool Inspection and Safety Checks

Malfunctions in manufacturing can be catastrophic. That’s why every person who comes in contact with manufacturing equipment should be well-trained in identifying signs of malfunction — from sight and sound to unusual smells. Daily inspections and safety checks can prevent most equipment-related injuries, and weekly and monthly inspections can dive into the inner workings of machines to identify problems not immediately noticeable.

4. Be Sure to Ventilate

From laser cutting to welding, sheet metal fabrication can produce massive amounts of heat, as well as the noxious fumes associated with it. Tiny particulates can drift unnoticed into a person’s lungs and cause serious long-term damage. Make sure that any manufacturing site that requires heat to cut metal be well-ventilated. Modern filtration systems, such as those that rest just above a worksite, can help to accomplish this without requiring the facility be too open. Even with the right ventilation in place, workers should continue to use facemasks.

5. Safety Training

It might seem mundane or redundant, but it is absolutely necessary. Every staff member who comes in contact with sheet metal fabrication equipment should be exhaustively trained on proper safety protocol. That should include safe operating procedures, as well as effective guidelines for reporting a potentially dangerous situation. Workers should be routinely reminded about proper safety measures. Further, safety instruction should be regularly updated to keep up with new technologies.

Damon Henrikson is the Director of Marketing at Accurate Perforating Company in Chicago, IL. Damon brings over 10 years of experience in the manufacturing space and over 5 years of experience specifically within the perforated metal industry. Accurate Perforating produces a variety of metal products for commercial use.

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