Sheet metal is an important material in the manufacturing industry, and is used to create everything from soft drink cans to airplanes and everything in between. Working with sheet metal can be a dangerous task not only due to the sharpness of jagged sheets, but the sheer weight of this material as well. As such, there are a few sometimes-overlooked safety tips that all sheet metal workers should keep in mind and follow closely on a daily basis.
Always Wear Steel-Toed Shoes
It should go without saying that protective gloves and eyewear are a must at all times when working with sheet metal, but what about shoes? Whether your employer requires you to or not, it's always a good idea to wear steel-toed shoes when working with or around sheet metal. All it takes is one heavy piece of sheet metal falling at the right angle to cause serious injury to your foot. It's not worth the risk.
Make Use of Hoisting Equipment
Many manufacturing and processing facilities have hoisting equipment available for use when working with sheet metal. This helps to cut down on the possibility of a piece of metal becoming accidentally dropped and injuring a worker. All too often, however, sheet metal workers become overly confident in their ability to lift sheets by hand and end up injuring themselves as a result. Always make use of hoisting equipment when it's available to you.
Inspect Tools and Equipment Daily
When working with sheet metal, it's important to have quality tools; otherwise, your job is made more difficult and you could be putting your safety at risk. Specifically, be sure that the shears you're using to cut the sheet metal (if applicable) aren't dull, which can lead to inferior product and increase your risk of injury. Report any malfunctioning or damaged equipment to your supervisor and don't use it in the interim.
Come to Work Awake and Alert
Last but not least, understand the dangers and implications of working with sheet metal on a daily basis. It's easy to get complacent when you've been working with it for so long, but it's vital that you come to work well rested and alert each day. All it takes is zoning out or losing your train of thought for a few moments to possibly injure yourself or endanger others while working around sheet metal, so be sure to take this aspect of your job seriously.
For more information, talk to a professional like J&E Metal Fabricators.