Cutting Sheet Metal: 3 Important Safety Considerations

18 May 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Cutting sheet metal is necessary in a number of situations and is something that requires a great deal of precision, skill, and care. After all, sheet metal can be very sharp and jagged--especially after it's been cut from a larger sheet. If you work with sheet metal as part of your employment, then you probably are already aware of the necessary precautions to take. However, if you need to cut sheet metal at home as a DIY project and you're not quite experienced working with this material, there are some basic safety considerations you simply must follow.

Wear a Respirator and Safety Goggles at All Times

The process of cutting sheet metal tends to produce particulate matter, which can easily be carried through the air and become a serious hazard to a person's eyes, nose, and throat. After all, the debris from cut sheet metal is not a harmless dust, but sharp particles of metal. As such, those working in an area where sheet metal is being cut must always wear eye protection that cover the eyes completely (a pair of glasses isn't enough). Furthermore, to avoid the possibility of inhaling dangerous particulate matter in the air, it's also important for you to wear a respirator at all times while cutting metal or being in the area of metal cutting.

Avoid Loose Clothing and Jewelry

Another possible safety hazard to keep in mind when it comes to cutting sheet metal is that of loose clothing. The machinery used to cut sheet metal is extremely powerful and the saw blades quite sharp, and a small amount of dangling fabric, jewelry, or even hair can lead to a serious injury. As such, those working near machinery that's used to cut sheet metal should never wear loose-fitting clothing. Furthermore, any dangling jewelry should be taken off and long hair should be put up prior to working with the machinery.

Handle Metal Carefully

One of the most dangerous aspects of working with sheet metal is its sharpness. When sheet metal is cut, it leaves very sharp and jagged edges, which can easily lacerate skin and cause serious injuries. To avoid such injuries, you should take the time to properly bend back sharp edges (while wearing gloves) as you progress with your work. Furthermore, sheets of metal should be kept small enough so that you don't run the risk of dropping them and cutting yourself while transporting them.

Cutting sheet metal may seem like a simple enough job, but it can be quite dangerous if the proper precautions aren't taken. Be sure to keep these important safety considerations in mind the next time you are handling sheet metal for a home improvement project. If you're in the market for saw blades, visit Bomba Diamond Tools.