When working in the steel plate fabrication industry, there are many things you need to be aware of when it comes to your safety. Wearing the right gear, lifting properly to avoid injury, and steering clear of all heavy machinery that might hurt you are all important things to keep in mind to be as safe as possible at your work place. Another area where you should make sure you take all necessary safety precautions is when there's a need for lifting plates using machinery. To do this the safest way possible with different types of equipment, there are a few things you should think about.
The most important thing when lifting heavy plates to use for steel fabrication is to fasten the plate properly to the tool to make sure it won't come crashing down and possibly injure someone. One of the most common pieces of equipment to use for steel plate handling is an electromagnet. Electromagnets are usually very safe, as they grasp on to the material with a very small risk of breaking. However, as it is electrical equipment, there's always a risk of failure in the magnetic properties of the tool. This is why electromagnets are best used in environments where no people will be even close to the plate that is being lifted. Make sure you always have extra batteries ready and that you are fully aware of the weight of the material to not force the electromagnets to lift heavier things than what they are equipped for.
Clamps are another common piece of equipment for lifting steel plates. What you should think about when using clamps is that you rinse the teeth of the clamps before using them. Make sure the teeth on the clamps are free from paint, oil, or dirt to make sure it's not at risk from dropping plates just because loss of friction. If very thick plates are to be handled you should use another method of lifting as the clamps lose force the wider they are forced to be opened.
Chains are a method used often by smaller companies that don't have the need for lifting materials very often. Chains can be used by a regular lifting crane by hooking up the hook of the crane to the chains which will then be carrying the steel plate. This can be a perfectly safe way of lifting plates if they are used correctly. Make sure to tie all four corners of the plate with the same chain so that it forms a cage, rather than just a ribbon being tied to the sides of the plate. Avoid using many chains connected by hooks, as the hooks can break.
For more information about steel fabrication, contact a company like Bronson Sheetmetal Fabrications Pty Ltd