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Safety precautions when working with sheet metal

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Sheet metal fabrication is something a lot of people do on their own to create objects or ornaments that they might need. It's precise work that requires concentration and creativity. Many people that are working with sheet metal fabrication in their homes do it small scale and have no need for extensive safety systems. However, safety is very important for all people working with sheet metal, no matter how small the projects are, and in order to stay safe while doing your own sheet metal fabrication, there are a few things you should think about.

Sharp edges

Cutting is something most people working with sheet metal have to do at some point to shape the metal the way they want it. The cutting process itself is potentially dangerous as you will be using sharp tools close to your hands. That's why you should always use thick, sturdy gloves when working with sheet metal cutting systems. You also need to be careful after you've cut the metal. This is especially important if you've been using snips to cut the sheet metal, as this method leaves very sharp edges that can injure you if you were to touch them without protection. Make sure you don't touch the edges of the sheet metal until you've sanded all sharp edges.


Sheet metal dust is another danger that can affect you as you're working on your project. Larger facilities and people doing a lot of metal fabrication in their homes might have dust collection systems that collect the harmful dust for them. However, for your small processes, systems like these might be unnecessary. Use a face mask when you're sawing or sanding the sheet metal to avoid breathing in the harmful dust. You should also make a habit of wiping all surfaces with a damp cloth before leaving the working space, as this collects most of the harmful particles. You should also swab the floor in your working place before leaving it for the night.


You also need to think about not burning yourself on the metal. If you're welding it, you need to make sure it has a lot of time to cool off before you can touch it without welding gloves. Also remember that the material can heat up significantly when being subjected to friction, like if you use power tools to saw it. It can also heat up if there's a source of heat close to it, like a welding tool. Only touch the metal if you know it has had time to cool off from any heat source that it might have been subjected to.