Abrasive Blasting General Safety Alerts

Posted in Safety

Equipment Misuse Hazard

Equipment misuse can cause blast equipment to rupture, malfunction or start unexpectedly and result in serious injury or death.

  • Abrasive blast equipment is for trained specialist use only.
  • Read and understand all instruction manuals, tags and labels before operating the equipment.
  • Use abrasive blast equipment only for its intended purpose. If you are uncertain about its usage, contact your BlastOne dealer.
  • Do not alter or modify the abrasive blast equipment. Use only genuine replacement parts and accessories.
  • Check the equipment daily. Repair or replace any worn or damaged components and parts immediately.
  • Do not exceed the maximum working pressure of the lowest-rated system component. Refer to the technical data in the equipment manual for the maximum working pressure of the blast equipment.
  • Do not 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. Such use could result in severe illness, serious injury, or death.
  • Do not use hoses to pull the blast equipment. Route hoses as straight as possible and away from traffic areas, sharp edges,moving parts and hot surfaces.
  • Do not expose blast equipment and hoses to temperatures above 66°C (150°F) or below 0°C (-32°F).
  • Full personal protective equipment is required to operate blast equipment. Do not lift or move pressurized blast equipment.
  • Comply with all applicable environmental and safety regulations.
  • Do not cut or weld the blast machine shell. Such action affects the integrity of the pressure vessel and renders any manufacturer certification, or test approval, null and void.
  • Striking an abrasive blast machine with a hard object such as a hammer or other hard implement, in an attempt to open, service or unclog the machine while it is under pressure, could result in serious injury or death.

Abrasion Hazard

Air and abrasive spray from the nozzle or leaks or ruptured components can cause extremely serious injury, including temporary and permanent loss of eyesight, maiming, amputation or death.

  • Abrasive injected into the skin might look like just a cut, but it is a serious injury.
  • Get immediate medical attention.
  • Do not point the blast nozzle at anyone or any part of the body.
  • Do not put your hand or fingers over the blast nozzle.
  • Do not stop or deflect leaks with your hand, body, glove or rag.
  • Keep clear of exhaust valve ‘blow-down’ hoses.
  • Always have the deadman handle on the hose assembly when blasting.
  • Check the remote control operation daily. Refer to the manual.
  • Be sure the deadman trigger safety-lockout operates before blasting.
  • Check the deadman trigger safety-lockout when you stop blasting.
  • Follow the Pressure Relief Procedure in the instruction’ manual if the nozzle clogs and before cleaning, checking or servicing equipment.
  • Check and tighten all air connectors before operating the 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.
  • Inspect blast hose before each use for cuts, cracks, worn spots, bulges,chemical attack, kinks or any other damage.
  • Hoses must have clip locks and – or whip checks correctly fitted on both ends, to prevent accidental disconnection.
  • Wear full personal protective equipment including approved air-fed blast helmet,hearing protection, heavy canvas or leather gloves, apron and arm protection and safety footwear.

Moving Parts Hazard

Moving parts, such as a pop-up valve, can pinch or amputate your fingers.

  • Equipment is remotely operated and can start and stop unexpectedly.
  • Keep clear of all moving parts when starting or operating the equipment.
  • Before servicing the equipment, follow the Pressure Relief Procedure in the instruction manual to prevent equipment from starting unexpectedly.
  • Hoses must have lockpins and or whip checks correctly fitted to both ends.

Fire And Explosion Hazard

Improper grounding, poor ventilation, open flames or sparks can cause a hazardous condition and result in a fire or explosion and serious injury.

  • Ground the blast equipment and the object being blasted. Refer to the grounding procedure in the instruction manual.
  • If there is any static sparking or you feel an electric shock while using the equipment, stop blasting immediately Do not use the equipment until you identify and correct the problem.
  • Provide fresh air ventilation to avoid the build up of toxic and nuisance dust from unknown or hazardous elements on the surface being blasted.
  • Keep the work area free of debris, including solvent, rags and petrol.
  • Electrically disconnect all equipment in the blast area.
  • Extinguish all open flames or pilot lights in the blast area.
  • Do not smoke in the blast area.

Toxic Substance Hazards

Hazardous waste or toxic dust can cause serious injury or death if contacted with the eyes or on the skin, inhaled or swallowed.

  • Know the specific hazards of the material you are blasting.
  • Test the work surface – prior to blasting – for the presence of lead, zinc chromate or any other hazardous substances.
  • Store hazardous waste in an approved container. Dispose of hazardous waste according to all local, state and national guidelines.
  • Always wear protective eyewear, gloves, clothing and respirator as recommended by the WorkSafe regulations and code of practice.
  • Do not use crystalline silica, beach sand, river sand or other silica sand.
  • Crystalline Silica is recognized world-wide as a Class 1 carcinogen.
  • Do not use metal-refining slags, silicates or abrasives containing any trace heavy metals or biological micro-organisms. Such use could result in severe illness, serious injury or death.
  • Request a current copy of the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the abrasive and carefully scrutinize it for any hazardous elements.
  • Abrasive blasting requires the use of a positive pressure air fed helmet.
  • Use certified breathing air hose and screw-type connectors or approved double-action safety quick-connect couplings.
  • Replace ‘canister type’ breathing air filter cartridges every 3 months or 400 hours, whichever is sooner. Change cartridge immediately if the user feels smells or tastes any objectionable odors, OR moisture passes through the filter outlet, OR the outlet pressure falls below 85 psi.
  • Monitor the breathing air for deadly carbon monoxide and ensure the calibration and servicing schedules are maintained.
  • Breathing air quality must be fully compliant with all standard criteria, WorkSafe Regulations and Code of Practice, and any other statutory safety requirements.

Noise Hazard

Extreme noise levels can cause temporary and permanent hearing loss.

  • Wear hearing protection when in proximity to abrasive blast equipment.
  • Equipment can be remotely operated and may start and stop unexpectedly with horrific bursts of air noise.
  • Always wear earplugs and/or earmuffs when blasting. 
  • A blast helmet does not provide sufficient hearing protection alone.