5 Safety Tips for Using Sand Blasters
A sandblaster is a type of abrasive blaster that can smooth metal or other objects. In particular, it can remove old paint or coatings. Here are five safety tips to keep in mind when you are doing abrasive blasting:
1. Make Sure Everything Is Assembled Correctly
Generally, people store the components of their abrasive sand blaster separately and put them together before using it. If you do this, make sure that everything is assembled correctly. If you have gaps between the power head and the nozzle, the sand may slip out the side and hurt someone.
Additionally, if the compressed air is not connected correctly, that may release unwanted pressure in a direction that you're not expecting, potentially leading to issues.
2. Make Sure the Gloves Are Firmly Attached
If you are using an abrasive blaster that has a cabinet where the work gets done, there will be special gloves attached to the side of the cabinet. That allows you to handle the material being blasted comfortably.
However, before you start, you should make sure the gloves are attached correctly and in good condition. If there are holes in the gloves, the high-pressure sand can get onto your hands. Remember as this sand is traveling at speeds and with pressure that is hard enough to rub off rust, it can definitely hurt your hands if it hits them. Also, make sure that the gloves are firmly sealed in place on the edge of the cabinet.
If you're working without a cabinet, make sure that you are wearing the appropriate safety gloves.
3. Don't Open the Cabinet Until the Dust Settles
The dust in the cabinet can be inhaled, and that may lead to health issues. In particular, breathing in silica from sand can lead to long-term scarring on your lungs. To avoid that, don't open the cabinet until all the dust from the sand has settled.
4. Use a Respirator If Needed
If you are using an abrasive blaster that does not contain a cabinet, you may want to wear a respirator. As explained above, inhaling sand can be dangerous. Additionally, if you're working with metal or old paint on metal, those elements can also become airborne, and that may affect your health.
5. Wear Hearing Protection
It's not just your skin or your lungs that need protection, your ears also need protection. Regardless of the setup you're using, this machinery can be loud, make sure to wear earplugs or noise canceling headphones.