4 Safety Concerns You May Experience During Scrap Metal Recycling

In the wake of the global climate change scrap metal recycling is at an all time high. Instead of disposing off metal cans to the landfills, consumers and businesses are classifying metals for recycling. Additionally, a number of states have ratified laws prohibiting certain scrap metal materials from being thrown in landfills in an attempt to encourage scrap metal recycling.

There is no disputing the fact that recycling is beneficial to the environment, however, there are a number of challenges that scrap metal dealers grapples with. Here are the 4 safety concerns.

Chemical exposure

Scrap metal recycling in Perth typical entails separating scrap into constituent metals. This may entail eliminating lead-containing paint in addition to separating precious metals, heavy metals and radioactive scrap metals. In the process, various contaminants are released including mercury, lead and cadmium. These contaminants pose serious health risks to the workers during the recycling process.

Proper work safety practices ought to be incorporated to reduce employee exposure to these chemical materials. For example, the recycling facility should feature local exhaust ventilation in addition to dust collection systems to control workplace chemical exposures.

Flammable dust explosions

A number of cases involving flammable dust explosions have occurred in the scrap metal recycling industry. During the recycling process, a number of processes are applied to grind scrap metal into fine raw material and this produces combustible dust which poses the risk of a flammable dust explosion. Moreover, the dust may also cause respiratory tract ailments.

Scrap metal dealers who are facing flammable dust hazards need comprehensive protective systems such as automatic suppression systems and spark detection.

Machine guarding risks

Scrap metal is usually compacted using balers to allow for effective recycling of the metal material. All moving sections of the baler should be secured to prevent against contact by the workers. Any body contact with the moving machinery may pose serious injury to the workers. To prevent such hazards, the baler equipment should be integrated with a locked or tagged out mechanism.

Cutting and burning

Fires and explosions often occur in the scrap metal recycling industry resulting from cutting and burning of scrap metals. Some metal materials contain flammable materials such as gasoline that may cause explosions. To avert such incidents, scrap metal dealers should ensure that scrap metal materials have been purged off any combustible liquids. Additionally, a combustible gas meter should be used to confirm the absence of combustible vapour.