Worker safely operates a crane in a scrap metal recycling yard

Safe Handling of Scrap Metal

Recycling scrap metal can increase household and workplace efficiency, improve financial operations, and reduce pollution in our environment. At Sgt. Scrap, we collect and pay for scrap metal throughout New Jersey, Delaware, southeast Pennsylvania, and parts of New York.

Through our experience providing a variety of services, including auto salvage, appliance recycling, and other non-ferrous scrap metal collecting, we understand the importance of instituting best practices. We are dedicated to educating our customers and the public about scrap metal recycling safety.

Protect Yourself

The first rule for scrap metal recycling safety is to protect your own body. The most common types of injuries associated with handling scrap metal include sprains and strains, heat burns, cuts, lacerations, and punctures. People collecting scrap metal, pooling it for mobile pickup, or disposing of household appliances should wear gloves and helmets. Metal has sharp edges, and it never pays to use your bare hands. If you are working in a commercial environment, or in any kind of demolition setting, please always wear a hard-hat to protect yourself from head injuries.

Eye protection and respiratory system protection are also very good ideas. There is often metal dust and dirt circulating in the area, so it is important to protect your eyes and lungs. In addition to this minimum safety equipment, always dress with long sleeves and materials that provide some thickness, strength, and protection against scrapes and other harm to the skin. Supportive boots that protect the feet can help prevent sprains and falls.

Safety Accessories You Should Have on Hand

Make sure there is a cell phone with an adequate connection to call for emergency services if needed. Injuries are unpredictable. A first-aid kit is another portable item that could be a lifesaver. Replenish supplies such as bandages, band-aids, antiseptic ointment, and ibuprofen or acetaminophen after each use of the kit.

Safety vests, bright-colored street cones, and safety signs should be considered if you are loading material on busy streets or in tight situations. By warning all around that dangerous work is being performed, whether you are loading an old dishwasher into a van or employed in a scrap yard monitoring loads from a crane, you can increase safety.

Equipment That Adds Safety

Are your ladders in good condition? Try not to work alone. Ask someone competent to spot you in case you fall. Tumbles from low heights can be harmful, as well as those from higher roofs or ledges. Often a harness is a good idea. It takes only moments to clip in, and the effect can be lifesaving. Scaffolding is another option that should be considered. Especially if a team is dismantling metal scrap from any height, a stable structure that adds balance and comfort is a good investment for safety.

Use Extra Protection From Burns and Cuts

If you must cut scrap metal with a torch or saw, take extra precautions. Use dark lenses on your eye protection to reduce the effects of ultraviolet light and hot sparks. A face shield also is recommended. Be sure that you are properly trained in the use of saws and other cutting equipment.

There should always be a barrier that guards against cuts to either yourself or coworkers. If you work in a scrap yard and take apart used appliances or other equipment to extract the metal parts, care must be taken that flying parts or the equipment you use do not cause injuries. If you must work in an enclosed space, either wear personal respiratory equipment or examine any ventilation safeguards to ensure they meet safety standards.

Learn More About Scrap Metal Recycling Safety

Sgt. Scrap wants to share scrap metal recycling safety information with our customers. Our goal is to provide the most honest service available from a scrap metal dealer throughout New Jersey, Delaware, southeast Pennsylvania, and parts of New York. If you have at least 500 pounds of non-ferrous metal, we will pick it up, and there are drop-off locations, as well. For more information, contact us today.

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