When it comes to workplace safety, there’s nothing more vital than assurances and confidence in the tools & procedures being set forth. This is especially present in the world of commercial cleaning techniques such as an abrasive blast. An abrasive blast has several positive components associated with the practice.
Overwhelmingly higher efficacy ratings by a substantial number of professionals who use an abrasive blast technique are one thing, the already safer environment it produces for workers when compared to more chemically heavy alternatives is something else entirely. Overall, when using an abrasive blast technique, there are a few key safety tips that can be expressed in relation to the technique to ensure its efficacy and assure the safety of your workers.
What Is An Abrasive Blast
Before we delve into the safety tips for conducting a safe abrasive blast. It helps to know what the practice involves. Simply speaking, an abrasive blast is commonly referred to as a pre-treatment for surfaces. There is grit and other particles of various densities and size that are thrown at high velocities at a surface to effectively smooth and clean them for further use.
Common particles are sand, stone, wood, water and even steam. Each method and material that is contained in an abrasive blast is entirely dependent on the surface that requires the treatment. Some will require a softer material or grit so that no damage is observed, others require a harsher and sharper piece of material to get the job done well.
The use of this technique on worksites and in everyday cleaning is a positive one to be sure, as the older alternatives were typically more chemically laden and were prone to causing sickness in older times. With the proper use of PPE & Instructional common sense, the technique could easily be the safest means of pre-treatment ever.
Now we know a little more about it, it’s time to get into the meat of the matter. The essential safety tips that will assure safety and ensure success.
Of course, having the appropriate PPE on-hand for the abrasive blast is the essential starting point for safety. Having the adequate protective gear not only keeps your workers safe, but also adds a layer of professionalism to your organisation that puts safety first. With the nature of shooting high velocity grit at surfaces, the obvious masks and eye PPE are assumed, along with adequate signage for the surrounding areas.
Getting your staff trained in all matters relating to the equipment and surface for the intended abrasive blast is an essential practice for safety. The use of the machinery should be conducted well before the practice is used. A lot of accidents have been avoided due to the simple act of practicing and ensuring that a full understanding of the machine is present in the operator.
The Right Material
One of the classic errors is the wrong choice of material for the grit. This can not only damage surfaces if chosen incorrectly but can also cause some serious harm to those who are unprepared. Using a heavy grit on glass for instance can cause a major risk of damaging the surface and shattering the glass itself.
Taking the time to research and ensure that the abrasive blast grit is appropriate for the intended surface will save a lot of time, and potentially lives.
Common sense always prevails, and in the case of this classic technique, there is always credence for taking extra time to be familiar with all aspects of the practice before jumping into it.