A blacksmith is an artisan who creates objects from wrought iron. They create everything from tools to furniture, and they are skilled in the art of fire.
Blacksmiths work with their hands, hammering hot metal into shape, but if you want to be a part of this profession there are some safety measures you should take when working in a blacksmith shop.
In this blog post, we will discuss what you need to know to work safely in a blacksmith shop. We’ll describe how to avoid common hazards that arise when working with hot metal.
1. Keep the Work Area Clean
Blacksmiths make a mess when they work. They are constantly sweeping the floor and removing gunk from their workspace, but you should do more to keep yourself safe in the shop.
If there is coal dust on the ground, it can create a fire hazard if you mistakenly step onto it. Hot metals can cause the same as well if you are not careful while undertaking the tasks.
When you’re done for the day, sweep up any metal shavings or fragments and remove them from your workspace. It’s also a good idea to cover surfaces with sheeting when you aren’t working on anything.
Make sure that all of your tools are organized neatly too – this includes pokers, tongs, rasps, hammers, and metal shears. Piles of tools can be dangerous if they are located near your workstation.
Make sure that no one else will trip on any wires or cords in the shop too – especially those attached to machinery like grinders and power saws. They need space to safely operate as well!
2. Wear Protective Clothes and Accessories
In a blacksmith shop, you should wear protective clothing and accessories when working.
This will help to shield your body from burns, flying sparks or splinters of metal, pokers that are too hot for safe handling, and tools that fall off the anvil unexpectedly.
Wear sturdy leather shoes with good soles – steel-toed boots are even better.
You should wear protective eyewear if you will be working with hot metal, and gloves made of leather or thick fabric to protect your hands from burns when handling the pokers.
Wearing an apron can also help to save your clothes from stains that get on them while you work. However, it is important not to get these stains on any areas that might be exposed during work!
These simple measures go a long way in keeping yourself safe while you’re at work.
3. Use Gas instead of Coal
Blacksmiths use coal to heat the metal they work with, but this can be dangerous if you’re not careful.
Coal is an environmental hazard since it causes pollution and contributes to global warming when burned – just like other fossil fuels do.
It’s also a very dirty fuel that makes blacksmith shops messy places to work in due to all of the dust that comes off during combustion. Breathing in these fumes or getting them on your skin can cause serious health problems as well!
Gas provides a cleaner alternative for heating metals because its only byproduct is carbon dioxide gas once it has been combusted into water vapor and nitrogen dioxide during combustion, making it much easier on human lungs even though there are small amounts of pollutants released into the atmosphere when it is burned.
If you have a gas forge, use that instead of coal whenever possible – your body will thank you! If you don’t have one, propane forge reviews of The Tooly can guide you in the right direction.
4. Use Appropriate Tools for the Job
Blacksmiths use many different tools during their work, but some of these are more effective than others.
You should only use tools that you know how to properly handle since they can cause serious injuries if used improperly or with too much force. For example, using a metal hammer for tasks like driving nails or peening parts together puts your hands in danger because it’s easy to lose control and hit yourself instead! It is important not to bring any hot metals within reach either – even those close by will be too dangerous without tongs!
Tools designed specifically for blacksmithing offer safer alternatives – you won’t hurt yourself with them as easily due to better design features. These include items like anvil stands, vises, and tongs, along with pokers or slew hook tools that are designed to keep hands away from the intense heat of metal in a forge.
5. Don’t Leave Tools Unattended
Blacksmith shops are filled with sharp edges on metal items – even if they are not physically sharp themselves. This is one reason why it’s important to keep tools away from children, who are most likely to injure themselves on them even if they are not being used.
Also, since these items are often hot when you work with them, it’s easy for someone else to grab one without realizing that it will burn them! This is another reason why working alone can be very dangerous.
6. Ensure Proper Ventilation in the Shop
Working in a blacksmith shop increases the risk of getting sick because there are so many dust particles in the air.
These can cause serious respiratory problems, especially if you already have one that has not been properly diagnosed. If you don’t have enough ventilation then it’s easy for this to happen – keep your windows open whenever possible during work to avoid breathing in too much of this dust.
7. Moving Mechanical Parts are Dangerous
Walking around a blacksmith shop means you will be working with moving parts of different mechanisms on occasion.
These can easily crush your fingers or hands if they come loose while you’re working on them, so it’s important to always use the proper safety equipment when handling them. This includes gloves for gripping hot metal or machinery and thick clothing other than tank tops or short sleeves that are made from strong materials.
8. Flooring Materials
You should be aware of what your blacksmith shop is made out of too – if it has a concrete floor, it can be extremely cold and slippery at times. If your shop is metal or has a tile floor, these surfaces might become slippery if they get wet from water or sweat caused by the heat in the shop. So, you must be vigilant- keep the floor free of materials that might cause a person to slip and fall, and ensure that there is adequate lighting for you or anyone else to see clearly at all times. The best way to do this is by placing shop lights around your business so everyone can see what they are doing.
Blacksmithing is a dangerous job that requires attention to detail and knowledge of safety around the hot metal. The most important thing you can do when entering into the profession is learning how to properly use tools like hammers, tongs, vises, and anvil stands so as not to injure yourself with them.
It’s also essential for your shop floor to be free from hazards such as water or other materials which might cause someone to slip and fall on it while working in your blacksmith store.
Finally, ensure proper ventilation at all times by opening windows for fresh air flow or placing some lights near work areas where they will help illuminate what needs done better than natural light alone would allow.