Collecting scrap metal is a great way to earn a bit of extra spending money, but before you start gathering metal, you should make a plan to be safe. To protect yourself and anyone working alongside you, check out these safety tips. They will help keep you, your possessions and others injury-free:

1. Be cautious about lead

While you are collecting scrap metal, you may occasionally come into contact with heavy metals such as lead. Lead is a heavy metal that acts as a neurotoxin. Although it has been banned in many applications, it is still used in some cases.

For example, many fishing weights are made of lead. When you pick up scrap metal, make sure you know what kind of metal you are dealing with. If it is lead, take the proper precautions. Don't let kids or pets play with it, lick it or accidentally ingest it, or they may die.

2. Invest in an appliances dolly

Rather than just collecting aluminium cans, many scrap metal collectors make their fortunes by collecting old metal appliances from other people.

As moving these items can hurt your back, invest in a furniture dolly. These dollies are slighter wider than ones made for boxes, and they have straps to hold your item in place.

3. Update your tetanus shot

Unfortunately, even if you wear work coveralls and protective gloves, you still run the risk of cutting yourself on a piece of jagged metal. If that metal is rusty, you risk getting tetanus.

So that an encounter with old rusty metal doesn't result in illness, update your tetanus shot before you start collecting scrap metal.

4. Line the bed of your ute

Unfortunately, you are not the only entity risking injury while collecting scrap metal. Your vehicle may also get hurt. To protect the bed of your ute from scratches, dents and other issues, put a liner in it. You can buy sturdy plastic liners that fit tightly into the beds of most utes.

5. Load scrap metal evenly and secure it well

According to the Queensland government, if some of your load of scrap metal falls into the road, it may cause a serious traffic accident.

To protect yourself and other drivers, load your scrap metal evenly. In some cases, if you are making multiple stops to pick up a range of items, this may mean unloading and reloading your scrap metal so it is evenly placed in your ute.

Use straps to tie down loads, and if you plan to haul scrap metal on a regular basis, make the job safer by investing in a covered trailer.  

For more tips, contact a local scrap metal company like West Coast Metals