Although scrap metal collecting can be a very lucrative pastime, it does have its drawbacks. Working with older metal parts can be a hazardous occupation and if you’re serious about turning a profit from your scrapping habit, it’s imperative that you are thoroughly versed in the various hazards and safety precautions. This week, we take a look at four key hazards associated with metal collection.
Spiders and snakes
Australia is renown for it’s unique array of poisonous creatures, and even in urban areas, you need to be careful when lifting and sorting through piles of metal refuse, as they are the perfect place for snakes and spiders to hide. Victoria is home to plenty of poisonous snakes and spiders including tiger and brown snakes, as well as red back and funnel web spiders. Avoid a trip to the hospital by always wearing gloves, full length clothing, and proper protective footwear when sorting through metal.
If you’re on the lookout for disused metal items, chances are you’re going to be working with a lot of rust. The textured surface of rust is a prime breeding ground for the bacterium Clostridium tetani, which causes tetanus, so it’s crucial to make sure your tetanus shots are up to date before you go out scrapping.
Old industrial machinery and materials can be a fantastic source of metal, but scrap salvaged from these areas is often contaminated with poisonous or corrosive chemicals, which could cause you serious damage if they come in contact with bare skin. Chemical burns and injuries are incredibly common when dealing with scrap, but they can be easily avoided by wearing proper protective clothing and thoroughly cleaning any areas of skin that do come in contact with contaminated surfaces.
To make a profit from collecting scrap, you really need to be bringing it in by the ton, and if you’re working with large pieces of metal, there is a significant risk of physical injury. Avoid straining yourself by bringing along a friend to help you with the heavy lifting as well as bending your knees and keeping a straight back when lifting something from the ground.
Metal Men Recycling offer scrap metal collection in Melbourne. To learn more about our capabilities, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 03 5941 6677.