How to Improve Safety When Working with Sheet Metal

Sheet metal is a strong material that can be easily shaped and fitted for both visual and functional benefits, making it a useful material in many different industries. Because it is often used and fabricated with heavy machinery, safety should be a number one priority when working with sheet metal. Whether used to make heating components, decorative pieces or vehicle parts, working with sheet metal requires skill, precision and the appropriate safety precautions.

Proper Training
Specialized training is necessary when working with sheet metal, as the equipment and surrounding conditions involved in many sheet metal processes can be dangerous and complicated. Industries that use sheet metal include construction, HVAC installation and maintenance, and custom metal fabrication – all of which rely on the use of specialized machinery that can expose workers to hazardous situations. Workers should understand the proper safety protocol to prevent accidents from occurring, as well as the procedures to follow should an accident occur.

Appropriate Protective Gear
Sheet metal workers who deal mostly with cutting and fabrication are constantly exposed to flying metal pieces and dust, making it necessary to wear protective goggles to keep the eyes safe. Protective gloves help keep the hands protected while providing a better grip on tools, allowing workers to cut metal safely and precisely. Be careful to keep long hair, jewelry and baggy clothing away from moving machinery, and wear coveralls to protect the body from sharp metal edges.

Safe Storage
Whether in use or put away for the night, sheet metal materials, tools and equipment must be stored in safe and appropriate areas to avoid accidents from occurring. Containers for heavy parts should be strong enough to hold the weight of the material. Because sheet metal can produce small, sharp pieces, it is important to clean up work spaces to avoid clutter and reduce the risk of injury caused by metal scraps.

Improving the work environment with the proper safety methods and maintaining that safety is necessary when working with sheet metal, laser cutting machinery and other metal fabrication materials and equipment. Be sure to understand what safety precautions you can take to prevent accidents from occurring and to reduce the risk of injury. If you’re unsure of the safety precautions required for a particular task, talk to a local provider of custom sheet metal fabrication. It may be more cost effective to utilize an existing metal specialist than to provide and ensure the proper levels of safety.