5 Important Safety Tips For Handling Scrap Metal

Recycling scrap metal can be profitable, but it can also be dangerous if it's done carelessly. There are a lot of hazards that go along with working with scrap metal, but fortunately you can easily avoid injury if you take the proper precautions.

The following are five tips that will allow you to safely work with scrap metal so that injuries are avoided:

Make sure you're up-to-date on your tetanus shot

To be safe and to prevent infection, it's a good idea to make sure you're caught up on your tetanus shot before doing a lot of work around scrap metal. Any cuts you experience from scrap metal could potentially lead to an infection if you haven't recently been vaccinated. 

Adults need to have a tetanus booster every 10 years to remain protected against tetanus infections. 

Use protective gloves and safety goggles

Working with scrap metal can be hard on your hands. If you work with gloves, you'll probably find the task easier. It's easier to get a good grip on large or irregularly shaped pieces if you've got a sturdy pair of gloves on. You'll be less likely to drop metal pieces or become scratched by metal pieces as you work with them.

Don't lift heavy, bulky pieces by yourself

Scrap metal pieces come in all shapes and sizes. Many metal components of items like vehicles, appliances, and industrial equipment are extremely heavy and large. Work together with others in a team when you're working with large pieces to avoid straining your back or having an accident that leaves you with a pulled muscle or chronic joint pain. 

Look out for sharp edges

Metal pieces can be sharp enough to easily cut you and cause extensive injuries. As you're working, be on the lookout for sharp metal edges. You also need to pay attention to any hardware pieces that are sticking out like nails, screws, and other fasteners. 

To stay safe, you might even want to attach cushioning on sharp edges while you're working with large metal pieces to avoid accidents.

Make sure electronics and appliances are powered off

A lot of scrap metal is taken from electrical equipment and appliances. Of course, metal tends to be a good conductor of electricity.

You need to take special care with electrical parts of the items and equipment you're taking sheet metal from. Make sure there's no power running through electrical parts to avoid being shocked or creating a fire hazard while you work. For more information, talk to a professional like Big Daddy Scrap.