When scrapping, it is easy to get excited about a big score and not pay attention to your surroundings and safety when hauling your latest load. It can be easy to get away from safety protocols when you are busy with scrapping but keep the following in mind to prevent injuries that can stop you from working in the long term aspect.
When scrapping there a few ways you should go about lifting and moving things to prevent injuries.
When lifting heavy objects, like fridges and air conditioning units, using your back may seem second nature. But in reality that can be a potentially bad situation if you kink your back or pull a muscle, you may be a lot of trouble even heading home by yourself. Hurting your back can keep you rested for weeks, sometimes months. Avoid a long time back injury and be sure to use your legs when lifting heavy objects. It may even be a good idea to wear a back brace if you are doing a lot of heavy lifting to help give you some support.
Your feet are an important parts of your day of scrapping, not only do they need to be used every day, but they are very prone to get hit, crushed, and squeezed. Prevent a foot injury while scrapping by being aware of your surroundings. If you are walking through a pile of scrap, look around for pieces that may be extra sharp or have nails sticking out. You don’t want to step on one and have to worry about bleeding and getting a tetanus shot. A foot injury can keep you out of work for a long period of time. To help prevent foot injuries, be sure to wear good sturdy work boots and possibly even wear ones with steel toes to prevent broken toes.
Suggested Reading: 5 Top Work Boots for Safety & Comfort for Scrapping
Your hands are one of the most important parts of your body you use for scrapping. Whether you’re picking material up, sorting your metals, or taking apart a computer for the hard drive, it is vital to have full use of your hands without worrying about injury. One of the most important and simple things to always have is gloves. Protect your hands from sharp edges, dirt, nails, cuts, and more. Also if you are stripping wire by hand, it is a good idea to wear gloves and be sure to cut the wire away from your body. Having a hand injury can really hurt your scrapping routine, be sure to be preventative and protect your hands.
When you are listing, climbing, pulling, and loading your metals into your truck or car, your legs are taking the brunt of the work. If you are using them a lot to lift heavier items, they can easily be strained and hurt. If you have a weak knee or have had a past injury to your knees, it may be a good idea to get a knee brace to help support it throughout the day when lifting. Again, being preventative is important to limit your downtime if you have an injury.
Especially when you’re disassembling something and moving metals, it is a good idea to have safety glasses on to protect your eyes. Don’t worry they make cooler looking glasses today for safety. It is important to keep your eyes protected, you need them to spot your next scrap score!
One of the most important things to protect while working with scrap metal, your head should be protected at all times. We understand that sometimes a hard hat isn’t always needed but it’s good to have one around. A hard hat is especially good for projects that require you to reach over your head to pull or move something. Also when you are cutting or taking apart items it can be a good idea to have a bandana around to protect your head from shards of metal.
Extras – It is always a good idea to have a few things on hand in your truck on a daily basis to encourage your safety habits. Having a fully-stocked first aid kit is important, which should include an emergency ice pack, Advil or Tylenol, band-aids, gauze, alcohol wipes, tweezers, and more. Keep in mind, if something doesn’t feel right when you’re doing it, it probably isn’t. So be sure to stop and reevaluate your movements.