A Quick And Encompassing Guide To An Abrasive Blast & Protecting Your Workers

Worker while doing an abrasive blast

No one in the world will deny the unabashed and unique utility of a good abrasive blast for any worksite and profession. Oftentimes it is more suitable to use an abrasive blast as a means for cleaning or preparing surfaces in a short period of time without resorting to chemicals. However, we must also note that care must always be taken in any form of worksite task, and special care must also be taken when using an abrasive blast.

Today, we will quickly go over the benefits as well as safety measures that should be in place when utilising the technique in worksites and ways to ensure the highest possibility of safety is accrued.

The Utility Of An Abrasive Blast Technique

An abrasive blast is a simple yet effective technique of preparing and cleaning a toughened surface for further construction or simply to ensure a sheen and smooth surface is attained. The concept revolves around a high-pressure propelling of a material on surfaces that minimise potential damage to the surface while providing an all-encompassing clean for the surface in question.

The type of material being propelled is determined by the surface that is being cleaned or prepared with certain materials being optimal for particular surfaces. For instance, glass beads are more attuned and appropriate for smoother and brighter finishes while alternative means like walnut shells are more attuned for fiberglass and other softer metal finishes. As time goes on, there are more developed methods and applicable materials being utilised for more specified surfaces to ensure the highest grade of quality is present in the resulting abrasive blast.

The preference for this technique has steadily increased over the years in lieu of more dangerously potent chemical solutions that were once thought to be the only option on the table. However, this does not mean that the technique is without its own set of safety standards and potential dangers that should be considered and kept in the forefront of anybody’s mind when using the technique.

Protecting Your Workers

Worker with protective mask during an abrasive sandblast work

When utilising an abrasive blast technique on any worksite, it should be a considerable factor to ensure that worker safety is kept at a high priority. As such, there are a few checkpoints to keep in mind when planning out the use of an abrasive blast on a worksite. Three areas of planning should be considered at all times and should be provided by any considerate company.

Engineering Planning

To keep workers safe from an engineering standpoint, it’s imperative to ensure that workers feel safe and secure in practicing a safe abrasive blast. One method of achieving this is to ensure the least toxic material is used for the same result. Another method would be the use of water based materials to avoid dust particles being as prevalent.

Hygienic Practices

Basic hygiene practices and implementations will also serve to assist the overall safety of workers when using an abrasive blast on a worksite. This can be as simple as ensuring no consumables are in the vicinity. Providing workstations and cleaning stations for before and after an abrasive blast as well as providing separate clothing to be used in the practice of the technique to restrict potential exposure to hazardous conditions.

Protective Equipment

Providing protective equipment for respiratory health and basic eye and face protection is imperative for ensuring workers feel safe and secure when performing the technique. Respiratory is paramount out of all these provisions due to the inherent nature of small material being propelled at high velocity, this can increase the potential chance for inhalation which should be restricted to the bare minimum.