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Know the Risk: 3 Dangers of Sandblasting

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Sandblasting is one of the most hazardous job descriptions. The safety precautions that need to be put into place may be overlooked because they are usually a minute portion of the overall project. This exposes the workers to dangers that may be extremely severe in both the short and long term.

This article reveals the hazards involved, so if you are about to involve yourself in any sandblasting procedure, it's best for you know the risks involved. This will enable you to better the safety measures that are in place.

Silica diseases

Silica is a material that is released when certain rocks, such as granite and quartz break up. This dust, when inhaled can cause a disease called silicosis, which gradually forms fibrous tissues in the lungs. Silicosis is incurable and once contracted, the tissue increases within the patients' lungs even when they are no longer exposed to the dust.

One method of preventing this is to avoid using silica content materials as abrasives, and wearing protective masks during the process.

Damaged filtration systems

When at the site, you need to put on protective gear and it needs to have an air filtration system. The air is usually filtered before being inhaled, and the workers also use clean compressed air to avoid exposure to the dangerous silica particles in the site. However, these systems may malfunction and fail to properly filter the air as required. The compressed air may also leak and this exposes the workers to the hazardous fumes which puts their health in jeopardy.

Check the protective gear thoroughly each time before using it to avoid this.

Malfunctioning equipment

A number of tools and equipment are used in a sandblasting project. Workers constantly have their helmets on, and there are the blast rooms and cabinets that are used in the blasting process. These equipment can fail to work as required and may lead to serious harm. Damaged helmets can expose you to the dangerous fumes and the blasting equipment can cause bodily harm when damaged or not properly handled.

Also avoid running the blast cabinets where workers are unmasked.

Working in a sandblasting environment is a risky move, and you need to wear respirators even if you are just cleaning after the workers. Remember, the silica dust is invisible and you can be inhaling it without your knowledge. Tests are usually done on sandblasted areas to measure the amount of silica content in the air, so only be in such an environment when the levels are manageable.