Tips for Staying Safe While Sandblasting

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Sandblasting is not an activity for the faint of heart, but is incredibly useful for stripping old paint or smoothing rough metal surfaces of old cars, industrial parts, and more. Sandblasters generally work with compressed air, and the media used to blast can range from shotblasting with metal pellets to soadblasting with baking soda. But no matter what or how you sandblast, it’s important to make safety a number one priority as breathing in the particulate produced in sandblasting can be very dangerous. Here are some tips from Marathon Finishing to keep in mind before working on your next project.
1. Always wear personal protective gear in and around your sandblasting booth
We can’t stress this point enough: always wear your personal protection equipment before and during sandblasting work. The first item is a dust mask rated for and approved by NIOSH (the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) to the medium you’ll be working with. OSHA suggests specifically a type CE NIOSH-certified airline respirator with a positive pressure blasting helmet. Next are safety goggles to protect your eyes from particulate. Last is full-body protective clothing, including sturdy leather or neoprene gloves. If you have access to professional sandblasting suits, use them. Neck and shoulder coverings are a must. Afterwards, be careful when removing your protection that you don’t inhale any accumulated dust.
2. Remember proper ventilation
Sandblasting in a contained environment like our automotive spray paint booths means ventilation will be paramount to staying safe while you work. Fortunately, our booths come equipped with powerful fans for keeping air flow constant while our intake filters ensure a “clean room” environment.
3. Review safety data sheets regarding your medium
Per OSHA requirements, safety data sheets on the materials you’ll sanblast with should be readily available to review at any time. Working with silica can be very dangerous if inhaled, and even mild substituted materials such as walnut shells or ground corn cobs can cause anaphylactic shock to someone with allergies. Always be aware of your tools and materials.
No matter how important your project or the time constraints behind it, safety should always be a number one priority when sandblasting. Talk to the experts at Marathon Finishing if you have any questions about our great line-up of finishing booths and products. Contact us today!

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