Abrasive Blasting SafetyControl Measures and Precautions for Sand Blasting

What is Abrasive Blasting?
Abrasive or Sand blasting means propelling a stream of abrasive material at high speed against a surface using compressed air, liquid, steam, centrifugal wheels or paddles to clean, abrade,etch or otherwise change the original appearance or condition of the surface.
It is used in a wide range of industries for many different purposes, including cleaning
surfaces such as steel, bricks, cement and concrete. The most common method uses
compressed air to propel abrasive material from a blast pot, through a blasting hose to
a nozzle that is manually controlled by the operator. Automated abrasive blasting machines
such as centrifugal wheel systems and tumblers are also used. Blasting is generally
performed in enclosed environments like blasting chambers or cabinets, or on open sites,
for example on buildings, bridges, tanks, boats or mobile plant.
Common hazards include dusts, hazardous chemicals and risks associated with the use
of plant and equipment. 

Airborne dust: This is one of the most serious hazards associated with blasting operations. When evaluating this hazard, it's important to consider the concentration of dust and the size of particles. Larger particles, considered "nuisance" dust, are normally filtered out in the nose and throat. Smaller particles (10 microns or smaller) can bypass the lung's filtering system and penetrate deep into the respiratory system, where they may cause serious damage. Safeguards are needed when smaller particles are present in the working environment.

Metal dust : Metal dust, in addition to the abrasive being used, contributes to the generation of airborne dust. Metals such as lead, cadmium, and manganese, can be extremely toxic when inhaled. Many existing paints have a lead base. Regulations require special handling, trained personnel, and medical monitoring when lead is present. If in doubt, check it out. Don't guess.

Silica sand: This product is a potentially serious health hazard and should not be used as an abrasive. If silica containing (quartz) materials are selected for any reason, workers must wear a positive pressure or pressure demand respirator with an assigned protection factor (APF) of either 1000 or 2000. Silica must be contained and disposed of properly. Even if a wet blasting method is selected, silica that is allowed to migrate by either wind or water, will eventually become an airborne contaminant.

Air supply: Air-supplied respirators must be used (1) when working inside of blast cleaning rooms, (2) when using portable units in areas without enclosure, and (3) under any circumstances where the operator is not physically separated from the abrasive material by an exhausted enclosure. If airline respirators and compressors are used, make sure the intake hose is placed in an area that provides clean air. An attendant should be in the area at all times, monitoring breathing air and assuring the blaster's safety.
Additional personal protective equipment: Blasting operations create high noise levels, so hearing protection is a must--for both the operator and nearby workers! Operators should also use heavy canvas or leather gloves, aprons, or leggings when appropriate, as well as safety shoes.

Abrasive blasting hazards include:

  • „ airborne contaminants such as dust
  • „ hazardous chemicals, particulate matter, for example small particles or pieces of the substrate or blasting medium
  • „ noise
  • „ abrasive blasting plant and equipment

There are a number of factors that affect the degree of risk associated with dust produced
in abrasive blasting activities. 
These factors include:
  • „ the concentration of airborne dust in the breathing zone of the worker
  • „ the size of the dust particles generated (whether dust particles are inhalable or respirable)
  • „ the duration of exposure, and
  • „ the type of dust and its biological effect
PPE should include:
  • „ an airline respirator of the hood or helmet type, fitted with an inner bib and a high visibility shoulder cape
  • „ protective clothing (a jacket or protective suit)
  • „ protective gloves (canvas or leather)protective footwear
  • „ personal hearing protectors.

New Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace(NFPA 70E)

The 2015 edition of NFPA 70E introduces a major change in how stakeholders evaluate electrical risk — so that owners, managers, and employees can work together to ensure an electrically safe working area and comply with OSHA 1910 Subpart S and OSHA 1926 Subpart K.

Image result for NFPA 70E 2015

There are many changes that you should be aware of in the new NFPA 70E 2015 edition. Changes in the boundaries will certainly have an effect on the type and rating of the electrical personal protective equipment that qualified electrical workers will be wearing.

Although the prohibited approach boundary has been deleted, there are still shock hazards and arc flash boundaries remaining that must be understood.

First, the restricted approach boundary is closest to the energized equipment and may only be crossed by qualified workers with the proper PPE. Next, you have the limited approach boundary that unqualified workers can cross only if they are in the proper PPE and accompanied by a qualified worker. Finally, the arc flash boundary is the boundary that requires any person that crosses it to be in the appropriate arc flash PPE.

This may be one of the most important boundaries to be aware of in your facility, as it affects not only electrical workers but all personnel. It is critical that all are aware of this boundary because there are no requirements on who can cross this boundary unless your company has an internal policy in place written in its electrical safety program.

Another change in the NFPA 70E 2015 edition to be aware of involves work permits. Any time the restricted approach boundary is crossed, a work permit will now be required.

 For example, the old NFPA 70E version from 2012 had shock boundaries built around 50V-300V and 301V-750V. However, this has now changed and the shock protection boundaries for 2015 are 50V-150V and 151V-750V. What this means is that shock hazard equipment will be required when inside the restricted approach boundary.

There are many changes you will want to familiarize yourself with in the NFPA 70E 2015 edition that could affect your overall facility, as well as your processes on working in or around energized electrical equipment.

What is Tandem Lift working Procedure and Preventive action

Tandem Lift:
A tandem lift involving the simultaneous use of more than two cranes, hoists or other pieces of powered lifting equipment.if the load on any one crane, hoist or other piece of powered lifting equipment exceeds 75% of the rated capacity of that crane, hoist or other piece of powered lifting equipment.


A two crane or tandem crane lift is where two cranes are used to support a load where their
hooks are attached directly to an equalizer beam or to the load by slings or lugs. Up ending a
vertical vessel using two cranes on the top end and a tailing crane of the bottom end would still be considered a two-crane lift.
There are two ways to make a two crane lift, equalized and unequalized
One way a lift can be equalized is where the load is supported by a link and pin at the center of an equalizer beam and both crane hooks are connected to either end of the equalizer beam with links and pins. 

An un-equalized lift is where two cranes are hooked directly to the load and any out of levelness of the hooks causes a large increase in load to one crane.

Recommended Preventive Action
1. Lifts involving two or more cranes are complex operations requiring
considerable skill and planning. As a result, multiple crane lifts
(or tandem lifts) must be planned and carried out under a competent
person’s supervision.
2. The competent person must develop and communicate a detailed lift
plan that contains, but is not limited to, the following:
Crane positioning
Lift sequence
Load movement (the longest radius of each crane for the
 complete operation must be measured exactly)
Weight and clearance of obstructions
Load transfer and distribution
Boom clearance
Environmental considerations
Rated capacity of each crane for the whole operation
3. Boom angle indicators are required on all mobile cranes, but they must
not be relied upon for accuracy in critical lifts such as tandem lifts.
A load moment indicator (LMI) gives an accurate angle as well as loading
throughout the lift

(1) If a tandem lift is a critical lift or if the lifted load is to be moved laterally, the tandem lift must be carried out under the direction of a qualified supervisor who

(a) is not operating a crane, hoist or other piece of powered lifting equipment, and

(b) is responsible for the safe conduct of the operation.

(2) A written lift plan must be prepared for every tandem lift and must be available at the worksite during the lift.

(3) The lift plan required in subsection (2) must include the following:

(a) rigging details;

(b) wind speed limitations;

(c) maximum hoist line speed;

(d) maximum crane travel speed, if applicable;

(e) load distribution;

(f) the need for and position of signallers.

(4) If a tandem lift involves the use of a tower crane, the lift plan required in subsection (2) must be certified by a professional engineer.

(5) At a pre-job meeting held immediately before commencing hoisting operations for a tandem lift, the lift plan required in subsection (2) must be communicated to all people involved and the supervisor must document the meeting.

(6) The pre-job meeting required under subsection (5) must be repeated whenever there is a change in the people or equipment involved in the tandem lift.

(7) Effective communication must be established and maintained between all people involved in a tandem lift.

Safety Talk on Portable Abrasive Saws and Grinders

Many workers have been near an operating portable, abrasive saw or grinder without ever realizing their danger. Personal safety can be endangered by several functions of this type of machinery - by the power source, blade, wheel or from a disk failure or hazard from flying or airborne particles.
Image result for Abrasive Saws and Grinders
Before use, tools, cords and accessories should be inspected to insure safe operation. The equipment operator should be protected from electrocution by a ground-fault circuit interrupter or an assured equipment grounding conductor program. No one should ever be permitted to use an electrical tool in wet or damp areas. Operators of compressed air and hydraulically operated tools should make certain that supply pressure does not exceed the tool manufacturer’s recommendations. Excessive pressure can rupture hoses, damage tools, and increase operating speed beyond safe limits.

Some abrasive saws are gasoline powered and should only be used in well ventilated areas. Operators of gasoline powered equipment should comply with all flammable liquid storage or transportation guidelines, and follow applicable regulations. Here are some blade, wheel and disk tips worth remembering:

  • Never use an unguarded tool
  • Never force a blade, wheel or disk onto a tool
  • Never use a blade, wheel or disk that has been dropped or otherwise damaged
  • Never use excessive tool force
  • Never stand in front of an operating tool
  • Never exceed the safe maximum operating speed marked on the blade, wheel or disk

Workers should also be aware of the airborne health hazards which can come from abrasives and bonders in blades, wheels, or disks and also from the materials on which the saws and grinders are used. They should be instructed in the use of any personal protective equipment, including face or eye shields and respirators, necessary to protect them from physical or airborne hazards when working with or around portable abrasive saws and grinders.

Use Safe Handling of Portable Power Drills

Portable power drills are one of our most useful tools and, with care, they can be among the safest. But electric drills can be dangerous if not handled carefully. They can cause injuries in many ways – from being struck by flying drilling material, if chips of the materials being drilled are flung into the operator’s eyes or if the bit punctures or bores into flesh (usually a leg), and from electric shock.

When drills are treated roughly, dropped or hit against things, or if they get wet, their insulation can weaken. Without proper insulation you may have a “live” drill in your hand. Then, if you stand in a wet place, sit on a steel beam or floor plate or if you’re very sweaty, the drill can give you a shock which could be fatal.

Before starting a drilling job, look the drill over carefully. Locate any hazards and decide on a safe plan of action. Here are some points to check:

The Drill - Is it clean? If it’s dirty or rusty, tag it and return it to supply for maintenance. Make sure the drill speed is proper for the job. Pull the trigger to be sure it doesn’t work too easily or too hard and that power cuts off when the trigger is released.

The Drill Bit - Be sure it’s set straight in the jaws. Hold up the drill and turn it on for a moment. The bit should run perfectly true without any wobble. If it wobbles, either the bit isn’t straight or it’s in the jaws crooked. A sharp bit will take hold without much pressure.

The Cord - Look for breaks, exposed wires, and looseness at the plug or housing connections. Unless the drill is double insulated, be sure there is a ground wire and the third prong has not been cut off. Use only grounding extension cords placed so they won’t cause tripping hazards. You don’t want to have an electric drill jerked out of your hands and if someone else trips on your cord, both of you could be injured.

Tripping Hazards - Check the floor for loose or fixed objects. When you’re concentrating on a drilling job, it’s easy to trip over something unexpected.

The Job - Starting the drill hole at just the right angle and keeping it straight, takes steadiness and care. If a drill isn’t held just right, the bit may bend or break, sending metal flying. Use a pointed metal punch to start your drill right.

The Material - When drilling into metal, much depends on the material’s hardness. Very soft metals like copper or aluminum will cut with little pressure. Hard steel needs a different bit. More pressure must be applied, but care is necessary because too much will make the drill overheat and bind.

When you finish drilling, find a safe place for the drill. Install a hanger so the drill can be hooked up out of the way but still within easy reach. Never leave your power drill plugged in while not in active use. When returning the drill to the tool room or carrying it to a jobsite, take out the bit. This eliminates the chance of your stabbing yourself or a co-worker; even a dull bit can dig into flesh quickly.

Hand Tools Safety Topic

Hand tools are used in a wide variety of industries to accomplish both large and small tasks. Improperly using these tools can cause fatigue, strain, and other injuries. Follow the guidelines outlined below to help you avoid these types of injuries.
Image result for hand tools
Your behaviors and habits can prevent ergonomic injuries when you use hand tools:
  • Keep a variety of tools handy and choose the right one for the job.
  • Grip tools firmly, but not too tightly.
  • Use tools with a reasonable amount of force, but do not strain.
  • If you can, switch hands throughout the day.
  • Rotate your tasks throughout the day.
  • Take micro-breaks every 20-30 minutes and move around.
Correct body positioning prevents ergonomic injury. Avoid awkward postures that cause you to bend, stoop, kneel, or reach repetitively or over long periods:
  • Get close to the work.
  • Ideally work at waist level.
  • Work with your arms and shoulders relaxed, not hunched.
  • Work with a straight back and neck.
  • Keep your wrists straight while you work.
  • Avoid contact stress by padding surfaces when kneeling.
  Tool choices can also prevent injury. Consider the type of task when you choose a tool. Fine tasks may use smaller, lighter tools for delicate maneuvering and fitting into small work areas. Power tasks such as driving nails and cutting bulky objects may require large, heavy tools with bigger grips. Choose a tool that:
Fine TasksPower Tasks
Thinner handlesThicker handles
Shorter handleLonger handle
Pinch gripPower grip
  • Fits comfortably in your handgrip.
  • Has the correct handle length for the job.
  • Allows you to pinch for precision or grip for power actions.

Other tool characteristics to look for:
  • Spring loaded tools that snap back to position easily.
  • Smooth tool handles with no ridges or edges that can cut into your knuckles or palms.
  • Handles coated with a soft material.
  • Handles coated with non-slip materials.
  • Tools that have the correct handle angle to help you keep your wrist straight during the task.
Watch for signs and symptoms that indicate you may have a problem with your hand tools. Tell your supervisor and see your doctor if you notice:
  • Pain or swelling.
  • Excessive, continuing fatigue.
  • Tingling or numbness.
  • Decreased range of motion.
  • Decreased grip strength.
Choosing tools that help you work in a good position with fewer repeated motions and less force can reduce your ergonomic risks. 

Top Most