We all know how versatile metal strapping can be, as is evidenced by the sheer number of industries that rely on it. But one thing all these industries share is a necessity to keep workers safe. While each industry will have their own guidelines in regards to safety, there are certain universal concepts that extend across all applications. In our last post, we discussed some safety precautions to consider when working with metal strapping, like the equipment and clothing you should wear and how you should go about cutting it properly. In today’s post, we’ll talk a bit more about material handling safety and how it pertains to steel strapping.
- Strapping is not a handle: Steel strapping is used to secure a load. While steel parts are now up to 30% stronger than they were merely a decade ago, that doesn’t mean they can be used to lift a heavy load. You should never use the strapping as a means of lifting or pulling. Not only will this put the security of the load at risk, but it can also be a safety hazard for you.
- Don’t use staples: It’s understandable that you’d want to make sure a shipment stays secure during transport or unloading, but don’t take things too far. Steel is quite strong, so there’s no need to secure a load further with nails or staples. These can actually weaken the steel strapping and could even pose a huge safety hazard if these materials dislodge from the steel. In some situations, steel strapping does need to be nailed; in these circumstances, you’ll need to use pre-punched metal strapping to ensure there’s no safety risk.
- Know how to lift properly: Before you lift, make sure that the strapping is secure and free of rough edges and check for nails or splinters. If the load is too heavy for one person to carry, seek out assistance. For loads that are a proper weight and size for one person to carry, ensure your footing is solid and that your back is straight. Your body should be centered over your feet. Grasp the object firmly and pull it close. Then, lift with your legs (never your back!) and move your feet to turn, rather than twisting your back.
We hope that when utilized in conjunction with our previous post on strapping safety, these tips will reduce your risk of injury when working with these stainless steel tools. For more information, please contact Independent Metal Strap today.