steel strapping

Rules for Tools! How to Work Smart With Metal Strapping

Steel strapping: one of the transport industry’s unsung heroes, a product which does not receive enough due praise for its various uses.

Steel strapping, also known as metal strapping, is used for a variety of reasons, but mostly to keep large transported items in place.

Have a large block of concrete to transport? Steel strapping. Whether it’s wooden crates, bundles of lumber, or rolled sheets of metal, steel strapping works wonders.

There are a few tricks of the trade worth knowing when it comes to working with steel strapping. Learn how to work smart in this blog…

Metal Strapping: How to Work Smart and Avoid Hazards

When large heavy items are transported cross-country and arrive at their destination, the steel strapping needs to be removed.

This job is usually done by hand and by someone with a good amount of experience working with steel strapping and strapping cutters.

The reality is that steel straps under tension can quickly become a dangerous hazard for anyone in close proximity if not handled correctly.

Some of the most common steel strapping hazards include:

  • Metal straps under extreme amounts of pressure can lash out if not handled correctly
  • The edges of steel strapping are extremely sharp and can cause harm to anyone close by or damage nearby objects
  • Metal strapping left unattended and lying about poses a tripping hazard
  • Metal strapping can cause damage to vehicles and machinery if left unattended and driven over

But, there’s a simple solution to avoiding these hazards in using the following handling techniques…

Appropriate Handling Techniques

In short, the best way to cut steel strapping is to wear appropriate safety gear, use the right tools, always clear the area and dispose of your waste!

1. Wear Appropriate PPE

You will need to ensure you’re wearing adequate PPE i.e. personal protective equipment when handling steel strapping.

This includes safety glasses, a hard hat, safety shoes, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt. Most importantly, a robust pair of leather gloves with help save your hands!

2. Clear the Area

Before steel strapping is tied down or cut, make sure the area is clear of bystanders who could potentially get in the way or be struck by rogue strapping.

3. Use the Correct Tools

When it comes to cutting steel strapping, the ideal strapping tool is a pair of duck-billed shears with long handles.

Make sure to cut the steel strapping squarely to avoid forming sharp, pointed ends which only add to potential hazards of the job.

The worst thing you can do is use makeshift tools for this job, such as a claw hammer or crowbar. The can only lead to injury!

4. Determine the Safest Course of Action

Before getting down to business and cutting away at steel strapping, you need to take a moment and determine the safest way to do things.

If you have several steel straps to cut, always begin with the farthest away from your first. Remember to stay out of the ”danger zone” once a steel strap is cut and it springs back.

You’ll also need to consider how the load under the steel strapping will react once it’s been cut. For example: is the load under pressure or will it shift?

If you cutting steel strapping from a wooden crate, consider what’s inside and how the contents will react once the pressure is relieved.

Some products such as mattress springs, auto springs, bales of cotton and burlap tend to let off a dangerous recoil. Bear in mind that specialist skill and instruction is needed when handling these types of loads.

5. Always Clean Up After Yourself

After steel strapping has been successfully removed, remember to clean up the area and remove strapping from the ground.

If left to lie around, this could lead to dangerous tripping hazards and potential vehicle or machinery damage.

Simple Safety Measures For Using Cutting Tools

There are a number of cutting tools in the industry which are used to cut different metal products. Just some of these metal variants include iron, steel, copper, brass, and aluminum.

These cutters are designed to meet the strength and tension of these metal variations to avoid as much harm as possible to employees.

Some common materials which require cutting include metal strapping, wires, electrical cables, multi-strand cables, wire ropes, fencing, and concrete wires.

When it comes to the safe handling of various cutting tools, here’s how to avoid injury:

  • Always wear appropriate protective gear i.e. glasses, a face shield, and protective gloves
  • Always use the right tool for the job – cutters are designed for specific jobs in terms of hardness and size of the material
  • Cut all materials at right angles so as to avoid unnecessary sharp edges
  • You take extra precaution by wrapping a burlap bag, cloth or rag around the cutting jaws of a tool to prevent flying metal pieces
  • Keep in mind: the harder the metal, the further it will
  • Remember to warn those in the area when cutting tools are being used, make sure the area is clear beforehand
  • Always keep cutting tools in good condition- make sure they are sharp, clean and free of rust
  • Adjust and lubricate a cutter and its joints if needed before you tackle any kind of cutting project
  • Remember to sharpen the jaws of a cutter according to manufacturer instruction!

By taking these precautionary measures when it comes to tool maintenance and cutting techniques, you should be able to avoid unnecessary injury!

Looking For Top Steel Strap Manufacturers?

Independent Metal Strap Co. are leaders in stainless steel strap manufacturing and other steel products.

If you’re looking for high-quality metal strapping, produced with only the best materials, we are your go-to! You can be assured of quality, efficiency, affordability, and availability.

Get in touch today to place your order.