Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Safety First: Tips For Junk Yards

Junk yards can be dangerous places to be. There are all manner of sharp, twisted things, metal, glass and precariously balanced items. That`s why it`s a good idea to take precautions when entering a junk yard and make sure that you are safe. Here are a few things to keep in mind when heading into a dangerous section.

Safety Gear

You don`t need to suit up for biohazards in a junk yard, but some basic safety gear will help protect you against potential accidents and injuries.

Steel-toed boots are a very important part of your safety gear. The thick soles will protect you from punctures in case you step on something long and pointy, such as a nail or screw and the steel toes offer protection against heavy objects falling on the feet, as well as stubbing them on things. The soles of these work boots are also protection against electrical hazards, should you step on a live wire by accident.

If there is activity, such as welding and moving of parts going on, then head gear in the form of a hard hat and safety goggles are also recommended and may even be required to enter the junk yard. Protective UV eyewear is required if you will be welding or watching someone else welding.

For handling of anything in the junk yard, it`s important to wear heavy work gloves that will protect the hands and prevent possible punctures or cuts. Even when you think lifting an object is safe, there could be glass or shards of metal below it.

Keeping Safe

How you act and what you do in the junk yard will also have a bearing on how safe you are. Apart from wearing protective gear, there are a few things you can do to prevent injury. It`s a good idea to read any signs or safety information provided before you enter the yard. These will be fairly prominent and will warn you of any particular dangers such as electrical hazards, moving equipment or other potential issues.

Taking care where you walk is definitely a good idea. Junk yards have pre-cleared paths that should be safe to walk on, but if you start wandering off between piles of junk, you could step on something or injure yourself.

Be aware of any work being done. If there are cars or other objects being moved around and heavy machinery working, you could be in danger if you get too close. Knowing where the work is going on will help you avoid potential problems. Remember that someone inside a machine might not see you walking below them.

In general, it`s a bad idea to simply wander around a junk yard. Find out first where the items you are looking for are and then go directly there. If the property is fairly large, you may need directions to reach a specific spot. Ask an employee for directions or to guide you to the area you need to reach.

Make sure that any tools you are using are in good repair. It can be quite hazardous to work with broken or dull tools which could slip and injure you, so take only well cared for items. Also, be sure that you know how to work with any electrical tools, such as cutters.

Junk yards can be fascinating places to visit and may be just the spot to find a part you`ve been looking for, but the truth is that they can also be very dangerous. As long as you take precautions and wear protective gear, you should be just fine.

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