What to wear when sand blasting - abrasive blasting

What to wear when sand blasting - abrasive blasting

 What to wear when sand blasting / abrasive blasting?

Sandblasting and abrasive blasting is an industry-standard practice for
a vast array of jobs ranging from paint removal and cleaning, all the
way to metal resurfacing and other similar applications. Although
extremely useful for various projects, it is a dangerous job using a
hazardous device called a sandblasting nozzle that can cut through
and reshape almost anything that it touches. As with most jobs of this
nature, safety is vital as always to complete the task efficiently and
without accidents. The pressure of the sand or abrasive material
coming from the end of the nozzle can be devastating to the human
body, causing even more damage due to the tremendous pressure
and coverage. Accidents such as this are why the proper and most
effective PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) should be chosen and
used correctly at all times.

There are many options designed for our protection when trying to
avoid injury from sandblasting. Various recommendations might not
always be the best, and the most comfortable options are often the
least safe offering the bare amount of protection. Leather gloves are
essential when sandblasting and are recommended by OSHA to offer
the most protection possible against the blasting nozzle. If a finger
slips or the nozzle comes in contact with our hands during a blast, and
we are not wearing thick leather gloves, a trip to the emergency room
is highly likely.

When considering the task at hand, good common sense goes a long
way. When sandblasting, we are holding an object that can strip down
surfaces that have been intact for decades and even resurface
hardened steel or concrete entirely. It only stands to reason that with
this amount of power in our grasp that one wrong slip could do the
same to our hands and fingers, leaving us incapable of working and
badly injured. Too many times, we see workers using cotton gloves
while sandblasting, and this often leads to accidents that could have
easily been avoided. Leather gloves are the best option there is to
maximize protection and lessen the likelihood of injury.

Along with our hands, we must consider the safety of our entire bodies
as the possibilities of the blasting nozzle slipping out of our hands and
cutting across our bodies are high. Since the nozzle is under constant
pressure, it can be hard to hold on to at times. The leather gloves will
also help with keeping a good firm grip on the nozzle while protecting
our hands. We have all at one point, or another felt even just sand
from the ground blowing across our face or body. The sting of that
was surprising, so imagine that intensified times a million, and we
have our typical sandblast or abrasive blasting nozzle in action. The
body, however, has many protection options that most of which are
inadequate and not recommended. When we see these in use, that
person is taking a considerable risk that is not at all necessary as the
proper protection for the entire body is readily available to anyone.

The body is a lot softer and more prone to serious injury then
extremities because of vital organs. One should keep in mind that the
sandblasting nozzle can be just as dangerous if not more than a
double-bladed sword. Paper suits such as Tyvek are available but are
ineffective as far as providing any real protection to the body while
sandblasting or even standing next to someone else who is. Paper
suits are primarily to keep the dust off of our clothing, and that should
be the least of our concerns taking a backseat to safety first.

The best option for total body protection is an abrasive sandblasting
suit specifically designed to protect against the blast of the nozzle in case it comes in contact with the body. Abrasive sandblasting
bodysuits other a level of necessary thickness and have a special
coating that deflects sand forced out of the nozzle providing an
abundant amount of protection for the body. Any possible damage
may be done to the suit instead. Whether we are a sandblaster or
working with one as a hopper loader or any help that will be near a
running sandblaster, we should always wear an abrasive sandblasting
suit as well to avoid preventable accidents.

Remember, it is not about looking pretty or being as comfortable as
possible. It is instead about being able to go home safely to our
families each day because we took the proper precautions to protect
ourselves before starting our workday. A great combination of full
leather gloves for our hands and a full-body abrasive sandblasting suit
is the best prevention against what could be severe debilitating injury.
Keep in mind that accidents usually happen when people
underestimate the power of the tools they are using and the majority
of the time that is associated with not using the proper personal
protective equipment. We should not gamble with our body as it is the
only one we have. Protect it fully. Use leather gloves and an abrasive
sandblasting suit if planning to sandblast or be near it at all times.