Working at a foundry is demanding and dangerous. Workers are exposed day in and day out to hazards such as hot temperatures, airborne dust, and even mild radiation.
Being aware of the most common foundry health and safety hazards can help workers protect themselves. Foundry managers can find solutions to keep their workers healthy and safe. Here are a few of the most common health and safety hazards in foundries and what can be done to prevent them.
Respirable dust and crystalline silica are both serious hazards in foundries. Frequent exposure to these airborne particles can lead to silicosis and even lung cancer.
Improve the air quality of your foundry by contacting an air quality control company. They’ll assess your foundry’s air quality and recommend measures you can take to reduce the risk of workers inhaling harmful airborne particles.
Foundries are hot, hot, hot! The machines are hot, the metals are hot, the air is hot. Foundry workers can sustain burns if they accidentally touch a hot surface.
Burns can also occur in the event of a molten metal explosion. Steam explosions happen when molten lava is placed on a moist surface. Chemical explosions, as the name suggests, are when chemicals are introduced to molten metals and create a reaction.
So, how can you prevent burns and other physical injuries in the foundry? Investing in forging automation is one way to do it. By handing off the most dangerous tasks to machines, you can worry less about worker safety and even improve your foundry’s speed and productivity.
The hot temperatures common in foundries can lead to all sorts of heat conditions, from heat rash to heat exhaustion. Heat stress can be difficult to detect and is often mistaken for regular exhaustion or illness.
There are a few easy ways to prevent heat stress at your foundry. One is to make sure workers are wearing suitable PPE made from breathable material. Another is to provide a cool break room for workers, so they’ll have the chance to get away from the heat.
Another common foundry health and safety hazard is radiation. Foundry workers are frequently exposed to two kinds of radiation: light radiation and hazardous radiation.
Light radiation refers to the ultraviolet and infared radiation created by molten metals. This form of radiation can damage the eyes and burn the skin. Hazardous radiation is any kind of radiation caused by hazardous chemicals. Fortunately, PPE should be enough to keep your workers from inhaling or being directly exposed to radiation.