In modern blacksmithing, your forge and overall workshop is a high-energy and creative place to work. However, you should also note the extreme conditions and challenges that come with working at the forge. These conditions can be dangerous, so it is important to establish safety guidelines for working in a blacksmithing shop. Follow these tips for proper forge safety, and you’ll know that you are taking all the precautions that you need to.
Use Safety Equipment
You must always wear the proper safety equipment while working in the smithing area. Said safety equipment includes safety glasses, leather work gloves, closed-toe shoes (preferably leather boots or steel-toe boots), and the appropriate clothing. Never come dressed to work at the forge in synthetic materials, as these can melt and burn your skin from the proximity of the forge’s heat. Always wear fitted, natural fiber shirts and pants made of cotton, denim, canvas, or flannel. You may also want to wear a smock or apron to give yourself another layer of protection.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Whether you are new to working at the forge or have clocked many hours in the shop, you should always be aware of your surroundings. Smithing requires you to move hot ore, metal, tongs, and other materials from forge to anvil and elsewhere around the shop. Keep your path clear to avoid falls. Watch out for heated metal forging equipment too. When sharing the space with others, always announce when you are transporting hot metals around the shop.
Never underestimate heatstroke when working around the forge. Blacksmithing shops can reach extremely hot temperatures, and you will only feel warmer due to the long sleeves and layers of clothing. The best way to combat overheating is to drink plenty of water throughout your work period. You may also want to hydrate with electrolytes and other sports drinks.
You should always approach working at a forge with a healthy amount of caution. Whether it’s heat from the forge, burning hot iron tools, or heat stroke, there are a lot of dangers you must face around the workshop. By following these tips for proper forge safety, you can have peace of mind that you are following guidelines to keep yourself and those around you safe.