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Abrasive Blasting Safety Warnings

Warnings Regarding Equipment Dangers

Careless use of Equipment can result in various dangerous malfunctions which can cause serious injury or death.

  • Abrasive blast equipment should only be operated by trained, experienced, professional contractors.
  • Before operating any blasting equipment, familiarize yourself with all instruction manuals, tags warning stickers and labels.
  • Abrasive systems have many components.  Understand the maximum pressure for the lowest rated part and do not exceed this pressure – even if other components have higher ratings.  Technical Data Sheets for your equipment will specify the maximum working pressure you can safely employ.
  • Adhere to all environmental and safety regulations.
  • Full personal protective equipment should be worn when operating blast equipment. Never lift or move pressurized blast equipment.
  • Abrasive blast equipment should be used only for its intended purpose.
  • Altering or gerry-rigging equipment is strongly discouraged.  Do not modify or substitute components on blast equipment. Use only standard, authorized parts and accessories.
  • Run a day equipment check.  Any damaged or worn parts should be repaired or replaced.
  • Respect your hoses.  Never use hoses like ropes to pull your equipment.  Hoses should be laid our as straight as possible with no coiling or tight bends.   Keep them away from congested traffic paths, sharp objects, moving components, and extreme heat or flames.
  • Never operate hoses and equipment in temperatures above 66°C (150°F) or below 0°C (-32°F).
  • Cutting or welding the outer shell of blast equipment negatively affects the integrity of the pressure vessel and will void any manufacturer warranty or certification.
  • When blast equipment is pressurized, never strike it with hammers or other objects to attempt to open or unclog the system.  Doing so can result in severe injury and/or death.

Warnings Regarding Abrasives And Air Pressure Dangers

Pressurized Air and abrasives can result in serious injury, permanent loss of eyesight, amputation and/or death.

  • Never use crystalline silica, beach sand, river sand (or any other sand), metal refining slags, silicates or abrasives containing any trace heavy metals or biological micro-organisms. Doing so can result in severe illness and/or death.
  • Abrasives injected into the skin may look like just a cut, but it is a serious injury and requires immediate medical attention.
  • Hoses must have whip checks correctly installed at each end to mediate in the case of accidental disconnection.
  • Never point the blast nozzle at others or toward any body part.
  • Inspect and tighten all air connectors before operating blasting equipment.
  • Never cover the blast nozzle with your hand or fingers.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn at all times while blasting – including approved air-fed helmet, hearing protection, heavy canvas or leather gloves, a blast apron, and both arm and footwear protection.
  • Stay clear and distant of all exhaust valve ‘blow-down’ hoses.
  • Always employ the deadman handle when blasting.
  • Never attempt to cover leaks with your hand, body, glove or rag.
  • Check the remote control operation daily. Refer to the manual.
  • Be sure the deadman trigger safety-lockout operates before you begin blasting as well as after you stop blasting.
  • The Pressure Relief Procedure can be found within the instruction manual and should be followed if/when you experience a clogged nozzle, as well as before cleaning, inspecting or servicing equipment.
  • Check the hoses, tubes and couplings daily. Replace any worn or damaged parts immediately. Do not repair high pressure couplings; you must replace the entire blast hose.
  • Before blasting, inspect hoses for cuts, cracks, wear spots, bulges, kinks or any other damage including chemical erosion.

Warnings Regarding Moving Parts Dangers

Moving parts can pinch or amputate hands and fingers.

  • Keep distance between yourself and all moving parts when operating the equipment.
  • Lockpins and/or whip checks are required and should be correctly fitted to both ends.

Warnings Regarding Fires and Explosions

Improper electrical grounding, poor ventilation, sparks and open flames can result in a fire or explosion causing serious injury or death.

  • Ensure proper air ventilation to reduce the build-up of toxic fumes or dust that results from unknown or hazardous elements on object being blasted.
  • Both your equipment and the object being blasted should be grounded.  The proper procedure for doing so can be found in the instruction manual.
  • Should you notice any sparks or feel any level of electric while blasting, stop blasting immediately. Refrain from using the equipment until you correctly identify and then correct the electrical problem.
  • Manually disconnect all superfluous electrical equipment in the blasting zone.
  • Extinguish all open flames or pilot lights.
  • Refrain from smoking near the blasting area.
  • Keep the work area free of solvent, rags and petrol.

Warnings Regarding Toxic Substances

Hazardous waste and toxic dust can result in serious illness or death if contacted with the eyes or skin, or if these substances are inadvertently inhaled or swallowed.

  • Know the specific hazards of the material you are blasting.
  • Use a test kit prior to blasting – to detect the presence of lead, zinc chromate or any other hazardous substances.
  • Hazardous waste should only be stored in approved containers. Dispose of hazardous waste according to all official governmental (local, state and national) guidelines.
  • Always wear protective eyewear, gloves, clothing and respirator when dealing with toxic substances.
  • Crystalline silica, beach sand, river sand or other silica sand have been proven to be fatal with prolonged use as an abrasive.
  • Crystalline Silica is recognized world-wide as a Class 1 carcinogen.
  • Request a current copy of the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the abrasive and carefully scrutinize it for any hazardous elements.
  • Use a certified breathing air hose.
  • Canister type breathing air filter cartridges should be replaced immediately if an operator smells or tastes any objectionable orders … or every 3 months or 400 hours, whichever is sooner. Cartridges should also be changed when moisture passes through the filter outlet, OR when the outlet pressure falls below 85 psi.
  • Monitor breathing air for carbon monoxide and adhere to regular and consistent equipment maintenance, calibration, and servicing schedule.
  • Breathing air quality must be adhere to all WorkSafe Regulations and Code of Practice and/or be in compliance with all statutory safety mandates.

Warnings Regarding Noise Hazard

Jobsite noise often exceeds safe decibel (dB) levels and can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss.

  • A blast helmet does not provide sufficient hearing protection alone.
  • Always wear hearing protection when blasting or when on jobsites.

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