Sheet metal manufacturing is one of the most potentially dangerous activities that can be undertaken by workers. Cutting and fabricating structures, and dealing with large amounts of welding and heavy tools to produce sheet metal creates a number of different hazards that demand close attention to safety. Workers involved in manufacturers need to be aware of these dangers, and should pursue a comprehensive health and safety scheme to ensure that a factory floor or shop is covered for different kinds of risk. Some of the most important safety tips for sheet metal manufacturing include:
cc licenced flickr photo by Paula Gimeno
1 – Investing in Hoisting Equipment
Much of the heavy lifting and difficulty of dealing with sheet metal can be reduced by investing in high quality hoisting equipment. Tools can help to reduce the contact between workers and heavy parts, and can help to clear any dangerous amounts of material from a factory floor. Having a high quality range of equipment to move sheet metal is essential in this respect for cutting down on human risk and error.
2 – Knowing Safety Limits
All factory floors that deal with sheet metal should understand the acceptable safety limits for the equipment they are using. Particularly important to consider is the stress level of fork lift trucks, and how much sheet metal they can carry before dangers such as spillage can occur.
3 – Full Protection
Workers that come into contact with sheet metal manufacturing processes should be aware of the different kinds of personal protection they should use. Examples of safety equipment can include noise reducing headphones, safety glasses, hardhats and welding gloves.
4 – Reducing Back Injuries
Labour that involves heavy lifting and carrying should always be conducted with a minimum of back strain. Workers should consequently focus on bending their legs and reducing the amount of strain on their lower back.
5 – Tool Maintenance
Tools used in the manufacturing of sheet metal, which can include cutting shears, gloves and welding equipment, should be maintained to the highest standards. Tools should also be periodically checked to ensure that there are no lasting defects.
6 – Understand Emergency Routines
Emergency routines for a factory floor should be clearly presented and found in different parts of a building. These routines should also be outlined to any new workers, and regular training should be provided to ensure compliance.
7 – Mark Out Danger Zones
Particularly dangerous parts of a factory floor can be marked out with appropriate signage. Doing so will act as a reminder to workers of the need for additional caution.
8 – First Aid Supplies
A comprehensive collection of first aid supplies should be kept on site at all times, and should also be replenished on a regular basis to ensure that any emergencies are covered.
9 – Communicate with Others
The best health and safety policies are ones where everyone on a site knows their responsibilities and how to act in the case of an emergency, as well as what the minimum level of safety is for day to day work.
10 – Don’t Work Under the Influence
An obvious tip, but one that often goes ignored. No heavy duty work with sheet metal should be completed if under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Failure to comply with this rule can easily result in serious injuries and death.
Currently writing for metalwork specialists Pace Sheet Metal, Matt Mynors is a freelance copywriter covering construction topics, modern architecture as well as safety advice for metalworking.