Sandblasting is the process of spraying abrasive particles under high pressure to smooth or clean a surface. Since it involves high-powered equipment and abrasive particles, sandblasting can be dangerous.
This post will give you some sandblasting safety to ensure your next sandblasting project goes off without a hitch.
Secure the area
The first step is securing the environment around you. Follow these steps to keep yourself as safe as possible:
- Eliminate tripping hazards: It doesn’t take much for a worker to trip or slip on the floor and fall down. While a fall is a problem on its own, it’s even worse if the worker falls while sandblasting. Clean up all the clutter on the ground before setting to work.
- Ensure the blasting area is fully functional: Along with removing any tripping hazards, you’ll need to verify that the blasting area is ready and functional. This means checking the ventilation, air compressors and power supplies.
- Stop dangerous activities: All workers need to be paying full attention while sandblasting is going on. This means no smoking, eating or drinking while the sandblaster is running. Failing to abide by this rule could lead to severe injuries.
Check the blasting equipment
The second step in terms of how to sandblast is checking the equipment. Here are a few things to inspect:
- Signs of damage: You’ll want to start by looking for cracks or other signs of damage in all of the blasting equipment. Any cracks or other flaws in the equipment could leak toxins into the air or cause total equipment failure. Make repairs or replace damaged gear immediately instead of trying to use it again.
- Use less-toxic abrasives: All sandblasting abrasives are at least somewhat harmful (which is part of what makes them effective), but be sure to use materials that are lower on the toxicity spectrum. This step is crucial when it comes to sandblasting safety.
- Breathing filters: The breathing filters and carbon monoxide monitors should be tested daily to ensure the area is properly ventilated. If there isn’t enough ventilation, the area could be too toxic to work in.
Wear the right gear
Now that the area is prepped and the equipment looks safe, it’s time to put on your protective gear. Here are the items you’ll need to have on:
- Protective garments: In addition to long-sleeved shirts and pants, all workers on the site should wear helmets, gloves, heavy work boots, earplugs and protective eyewear. Make sure all of your clothing items are approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
- Respiratory equipment: Anyone using a blaster needs to wear an abrasive blasting respirator covering their head, face, neck and shoulders. Workers involved in the post-sandblasting cleanup process may also need to wear respiratory gear.
Rent your sandblasting equipment from us
Now that you know how to sandblast and how to keep yourself safe, it’s time to get to work. If you need to rent your sandblasting equipment, talk to our team at Ram Rent-All Inc. about our equipment rental selection. We rent everything from handheld items to heavy machinery at some of the lowest prices in town.