Collecting and selling scrap metal can be a great way to make a bit of extra money, but before you dive into this hobby, you should make sure that you have the right safety and protective gear. Wondering what you need? Take a look at these recommendations.
1. Work Gloves
When dealing with scrap metal, you may encounter a lot of rough edges that can cut you. To protect your hands, wear heavy duty work gloves. Leather gloves designed for welding or similar pursuits are the best option, but in a pinch, gardening gloves can work too. Just remember gardening gloves are made to protect you from thorns — that means they give you some protection but not as much as labourer's gloves.
2. Leather Boots
Once your hands are protected, check out your feet. Canvas shoes can rip if exposed to a sharp piece of scrap metal, but leather shoes hold up more durably. If you ever get into dumpsters to collect scrap metal, leather boots with a heavy duty sole can protect your foot from nails or other sharp objects.
3. Safety Goggles
Imagine standing in a dumpster. You pull a piece of scrap metal toward you, but as you dislodge it from a pile of rubbish, a small piece of glass flies toward your eye. This scenario presents a real risk when collecting scrap metal to recycle. In addition, if you dismantle old playsets, trampolines, or other metal items, hardware may also fly toward your eyes. To protect yourself, you may want to invest in safety goggles or glasses.
Even if something doesn't fly in your eye, you're likely to encounter a lot of grease when dismantling items made of metal. To avoid stains all over your clothing, you may want a pair of coveralls. These work suits zip up over your day clothing, and they're typically made of a sturdy canvas that also provides a bit of protection. After a hard day of collecting scrap metal to take it to the recyclers, you can drop your coveralls at the door, and bring them to your washer without wearing them inside.
5. Tetanus Shot
Buying safety clothing isn't the only precaution you want to take. You may also want to make sure you are up to date on your tetanus shot. Tetanus is a serious illness that can be caused by a certain bacteria that appears in rust. It's rare in Australia, but it can happen if you're not vaccinated.