Metal fabrication is the process of creating metal structures by bending, cutting, or assembling. This is an important part of many different industries. However, it is not without its own risks. People get injured fabricating metal more often than you may think. Even experienced professionals can make mistakes from time to time.
Let’s take a look at some common metal fabrication injuries, and then jump into the precautions one can take to better ensure workplace safety.
Common Metal Fabrication Injuries
Material handling injuries are one of the most common injuries in this industry. Most of the injuries are musculoskeletal injuries from improper lifting technique. Moreover, injuries can be anything from minor muscle sprains to debilitating back injuries. This can be the result of bad lifting, ignoring workplace protocol, or just being overworked.
Hand tool injuries are another common workshop injury. Hand tools get a lot of use in metal fabrication shops. Some injuries are a result of the overuse of welding machines which lead to musculoskeletal injuries. On the other hand, just the process of welding can expose a welder to toxic chemicals which, if not properly vented, can be dangerous. Also, tools are necessary, but using the wrong one for a job, not maintaining them correctly, or using them too often can cause injury as well.
Injuries as a result of poor barriers are some of the worst injuries, but sometimes are the easiest to avoid. A barrier is designed and put into place to protect workers. Some tools or machines have guards to protect operators. Additionally, if these guards are not installed properly, risks can include getting a finger caught in the machine or even losing a whole hand.
Safety Tips for Metal Fabrication
Following these tips can help prevent injury in the workshop.
1. Wear Protective Clothing
If you aren’t dressed for the job, your risk of injury can increase dramatically. Safety gear includes hard hats, goggles, gloves, steel toe boots, and these must be worn at all times.
2. Work How You Were Trained
You should always follow the training protocol as you were instructed. Training includes how to use the equipment, what risks you face, and how to avoid them.
3. Be Cautious
Caution is the best way to prevent workplace injury. It’s important to always be careful in this industry because of how high the risk for injury is. Understand that loose clothing or jewelry will get caught in machines. Know that sheet metal can be sharp or hot, so always put on gloves just in case. Thinking about all the risks before you do something is a great habit to adopt.
4. Inspect Your Metal Fabrication Tools
You should always inspect a tool’s overall condition before and after usage. You should note anything if looks strange or broken to you. That way, when the next person uses the tool, they are aware of potential risks. Regularly scheduled maintenance is important for a tool’s overall condition as well.
5. Always Work within Your Comfort Zone
Working within your comfort zone is a great way to prevent the risk of injury. Constantly having to work in an uncomfortable position is a surefire way to hurt your body. Having the right tools and equipment can really help in this respect.
Want to Reduce Injury? Call Lange Lift
Our ergonomic lift tables are used in metal fabrication, welding, and material handling workshops. These tables are perfect for always staying and working within your comfort zone, which reduces injury and increases productivity.