When preparing surfaces, whether wood, metal, or other industrial tools and equipment, the only process that shines bright is Abrasive Blasting.
Yes, you heard it right! It is one of the greatest and fastest ways of all. However, using this blasting process is powerful, but it is also dangerous. That’s why before you call the abrasive blasting in Melbourne experts to proceed with this method, you need to know the challenges it brings along and see how these professionals prioritise safety.
So, let’s review the hazards of this process and how we can help you avoid injuries and other associated risks.
The Power Of Abrasive Blasting: Crafting A Safer Canvas
Before we move forward, some people might want to learn about Abrasive Blasting and its process. And if you are one of them, let us help you understand it.
Abrasive blasting, often known as sandblasting, is widely used in various industries. Its primary purpose is to remove paint or other substances from metal or wood, leaving only the raw materials behind.
Here’s a simple breakdown of how it works: With the help of pressurised air, professionals shoot tiny particles of an abrasive material through a hose and onto the surface, quickly getting rid of anything unwanted surface contaminants. The abrasive material, like silica, garnet, crushed glass, or walnut shells, can differ. Overall, this versatile method efficiently strips surfaces down to their basic elements.
Now, let’s address the dual nature of abrasive blasting—powerful yet hazardous. Also, you will see how ProStrip Sandblasting professionals in Melbourne prioritise safety.
Navigating Dust Storms – Visibility Matters
When we are doing an abrasive blasting process in the open, it usually kicks up a lot of dust. This dust comes from the material we are blasting and whatever is removed. This dust can quickly build up and become a big problem. Here’s why:
- Limited Visibility: The dust can make it hard to see, thus putting the operator and others nearby at risk.
- Inhalation Risk: People in the area might breathe in the dust if they’re not wearing the right respiratory gear.
- Flammability: The dust can become a fire hazard when blasting off something or using a flammable abrasive.
- Machine and Vent Issues: The dust can also get into nearby machines or vents, causing various problems.
We take a few steps to reduce the dust and its risks. We can set up an extensive exhaust system to filter the dust from the air. If that’s not possible, we ensure no one else is around when we are blasting and always wear the proper personal protective gear by way of an air-fed blast helmet. We also make sure to keep a large radius around the blasting site, where people are prohibited from entering.
Additionally, we use safety tape, signs, or simple labels in the area to let everyone know they need to stay at a safe distance.
Airborne Challenges – Respiratory Safeguards
Even if we keep the dust in the air safe during abrasive blasting, we must know what we’re removing. For instance, if we remove lead-based paint, everyone in the area should always wear a breathing mask.
Why? Because even small amounts of lead paint can linger in the air and be breathed in. Inhaling lead can lead to lung problems and issues with the nervous system. The catch is that these problems might take years, and many people only realize how hazardous they are once it’s too late.
That’s why, at Melbourne’s ProStrip Sandblasting, we prioritise safety. Our professionals protect everyone, especially when dealing with potentially harmful substances like lead-based paint. Your well-being is our top priority!
Operator Safety – Beyond the Blast Nozzle
The air and blasting material propel out at incredibly high speeds during abrasive blasting. If, by accident, the operator directs it toward a person in the vicinity, severe injuries can occur. Even with breathing protection, the force of the blasting material itself can lead to significant skin and eye injuries.
Furthermore, there’s a risk of self-injury for the operator. For instance, if they inadvertently turn the blasting nozzle back on after putting it down, it could blast their leg or foot, resulting in a severe injury.
To prevent such issues, the best approach is to train all abrasive blasting operators to treat the machine like a firearm. It should never be pointed toward anyone or anything you don’t want it to hit. This crucial practice ensures enhanced abrasive blasting safety for everyone involved. At ProStrip Sandblasting in Melbourne, safety is our priority, and our operators are trained to handle the equipment responsibly, minimising risks for a secure working environment.
Structural Resilience – Assessing Before Blasting
When restoring or renovating old structures, abrasive blasting techniques are often necessary to remove rust, paint, or other unwanted materials. This method is popular, especially when bringing new life to older buildings or assets. However, while blasting away these excess materials, there’s a potential risk—particularly for structures like railings, bricks, or other items that may not be as robust.
While it’s unlikely to weaken support beams significantly, these smaller elements could be susceptible to damage during abrasive blasting, posing a falling hazard for the person carrying out the task.
To ensure safety, it’s essential to assess the strength of the items being worked on. For instance, rust can severely weaken the metal, so it’s crucial to examine it thoroughly. Feel it from top to bottom to ensure it can withstand blasting without posing a risk. At ProStrip Sandblasting in Melbourne, we prioritise safety in every project, meticulously evaluating the materials to guarantee a secure environment for our operators.
Inside the Blast: Safeguarding Enclosed Spaces
In some cases, especially when dealing with smaller items, abrasive blasting is performed within an enclosed area commonly known as a ‘blast cabinet’. These areas allow items to be placed in a protective case, with operators using gloves to reach in and operate the blasting equipment. While this method enhances safety, careful considerations are crucial to ensure abrasive blasting safety at every step. Let’s explore potential risks even within these enclosed spaces and how ProStrip Sandblasting in Melbourne ensures your safety at every stage:
- Securing the Door:
When placing an item for blasting in an enclosed room, we ensure the door is fully secure and sealed. An unsecured opening could unexpectedly open during blasting, rapidly releasing a massive dust cloud.
- Damaged Safety Gloves:
Over time, the gloves designed to protect hands during blasting can wear out. If unnoticed, damaged gloves may lead to hand injuries from the blasting material. At ProStrip Sandblasting, we conduct thorough checks before each operation to guarantee the integrity of safety gear.
Opening the Door Too Quickly:
Even with a secured door, there’s a risk if it’s opened hastily after the blasting job. Operators may be exposed if the dust hasn’t settled or been properly vented. This is particularly hazardous when dealing with toxic materials like lead.
Therefore, these are some of the hazards associated with the abrasive blasting process, but At ProStrip Sandblasting, we understand these diverse dangers. That’s why we prioritise abrasive blasting safety in every facility, taking comprehensive measures to ensure everyone’s well-being. You can trust us for a secure, efficient, and meticulous abrasive blasting experience in Melbourne.
Your safety is our commitment!