Safety in Sandblasting


Sandblasting utilizes silica sand at high pressure to clean surfaces. Other abrasive materials are used such as glass beads and pumice. The tougher the job, the more abrasive the material. The more abrasive the material, the tougher your sandblasting gloves and equipment need to be to prevent any injury and damage.

The reason for using a certain type of material for abrasive blasting can be job specification, cost, worker health, or the environment. The materials commonly used are:

  • Copper Slag
  • Glass (beads or crushed)
  • Nickel slag
  • Garnet sand
  • Coal Slag
  • Silica sand (crystalline)
  • Steel shot
  • Steel Grit
  • Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
  • Sponge
  • Dry ice
  • Ice cubes
  • Plastic bead media
  • Specular hematite (iron ore)

A professional in the sandblasting industry should understand the dangers faced when using abrasive materials at high pressure. The professional should also understand the preventive measures that need to be taken like the use of safety goggles and gloves. Engineering and administrative controls can also be used. Workers involved in sandblasting activities should undergo training exercises on safety. Personal protective equipment like sandblasting gloves should be taken seriously and provided to workers involved in sandblasting.

Sandblasting involves machines which produce a high level of noise, therefore, you should consider always having hearing protection.

The process of sandblasting produces hazardous dust levels as well as a significant quantity of toxic metals. This means that workers working in sandblasting should be adequately protected by employers from the blasting material and the material being blasted. Sandblasting gloves can help in this respect.

As an employee or worker, you can take the responsibility or safety into your own hands and get yourself a full set of personal protective equipment. If you are thinking about protecting your arms or just a pair of gloves for a cabinet you should consider protecting your full forearm with leather gloves. Protect your arms from the abrasiveness of sand which might cut your hands and arms. This can be very painful and led to skin coming off easily. However, these gloves tend to wear out on the outside and inside. The outside may be worn out by the abrasive sand while the inside can get unsanitary from the sweat.

Sandblasting gloves can be changed regularly after a lot of blasting. Try to switch things up once in a while. Do not use the same type of gloves every time especially if they are not working well for you in terms of protection, fit and comfort. Rubber gloves and gloves made of tightly-woven cloth that fit should be considered when the cabinet you are using has arm-hole brushes. They will give you the secure grip you want as well as a sensitive enough feel.