Sheet metal is used throughout the world in a variety of fashions. From manufacturing of automobiles, to erecting roofs, to making many things that you have around your home. Working with sheet metal also has many hazards associated with it. Here’s some important information on sheet metal safety.
Sheet metal is very sharp, it is thin, and the edges can penetrate a lot of things including human skin. When working with sheet metal, it is imperative that the proper PPE (personal protective equipment) be used. Gloves (Kevlar) designed to protect against cuts and abrasions, long sleeves (Kevlar), leather (cut resistant) work boots, and of course long pants.
When cutting sheet metal with hand snips, or portable power tools, the above mentioned PPE, should always be used, as well as safety glasses and a full face shield. Also keep in mind that thin sheet metal bends very easily, so if you are cutting it, the sheet metal could flex to the point that you may lose temporary control of it, and could cause injury. Shavings left over after cutting sheet metal are razor sharp. Never pick up shavings with your bare hands, they will cause severe cuts. Grinding sheet metal leaves very tiny metal particles all over just about everything within a few feet. These tiny particles can get on your clothes, skin, in your hair, and are very difficult to remove, not to mention this will literally ruin your washing machine at home, and contaminate any other clothes in the same machine.
If metal particles get on your skin, put your arms under running cold water, and never attempt to rub the shavings off with your hands. This will only possibly embed metal into your skin. Let the water gently wash them off. If it gets into your hair, do the same, let your shower water rinse the metal from your hair.
Always remember, working with sheet metal is dangerous, but accidents and injuries can altogether be avoided, if the proper precautions are taken.
Disclaimer: The information and suggestions contained in these safety talks are believed to be reliable. However, the authors of the topics and the owners of this web site accept no legal responsibility for the correctness, sufficiency, or completeness of such information or suggestions contained within these topics. These guidelines do not supercede local, state, or federal regulations and must not be construed as a substitute for, or legal interpretation of, any OSHA regulations.