Metal on Metal Safety

SKU: C-850Duration: 15 Minutes Certificate Included

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Course Details


Training Time: 15 minutes

Compatibility: Desktop, Tablet, Phone

Based on: Industry Standards and Best Practices

Languages: English

When working on heavy construction equipment, there are often situations when you have the need to strike a metal component of a machine with a hammer. Most hammers have hardened steel heads, and there is a hidden danger in striking two hardened metal surfaces together. This action can lead to sharp pieces of metal breaking out of the hammer or the struck piece of metal at very high velocity. This course will describe why this happens and what can be done to minimize the danger and protect yourself from injury.

At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Describe the primary danger of metal on metal hammering
  • Describe what is unique about hardened steel
  • List alternative work methods to avoid metal on metal impact
  • Describe safety guidelines for metal on metal work
  • Identify the proper PPE for metal on metal hammering

The following key questions are answered in this module:

What is the primary danger of striking a hardened metal object with a hardened hammer?
This action can lead to sharp pieces of metal breaking out of the hammer or the struck piece of metal at very high velocity.

Why is hardened steel more brittle than mild steel?
The hardening process modifies the crystalline structure of the steel and generates internal stresses which make the metal more rigid and more brittle.

What alternative tools can be used to avoid the possibility of creating metal shards?
Depending on the job that needs to be done, a non-impact tool such as a press, a slide hammer which changes the point of impact, or a malleable hammer could be used.

What is a slide hammer?
A slide hammer consists of a weight which slides on a rod. When the weight is slid, it hits a collar near the tip of the tool and the force of the impact is transferred to the target.

What PPE is appropriate if you have to strike metal against metal?
At a very minimum, eye protection must be worn. Ideally, a face mask and leather apron should also be worn to protect your entire body from possible flying metal shards.

Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:

To use a slide hammer, the tip of the tool is placed against the target object, and a weight on a rod, which is in line with the tip of the tool, is slid linearly toward the target. The weight hits a collar near the tip of the tool and the force of the impact is transferred to the target. The affect of a hammer blow to the target object is achieved without a hammer surface contacting the target surface. The slide hammer reduces the possibility of injury in two ways. Not only does it prevent the impact of hardened metal on metal, if the task is to remove a pin, it eliminates the need for you or someone else to hold the pin driver and risk being struck by the hammer.

Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:

  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) –
  • OSHA Safety and Health Topics -

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