Although modern craft and industrial glue guns are manufactured with efficiency, durability, and safety in mind, one can never be too cautious when utilizing these tools. This is especially true in industrial manufacturing and warehouse settings, as well as areas that require the use of a hardhat and other safety precautions. Depending on what kind of glue gun you are using, and what applications you are performing that require you to use a glue gun, you will need to take various additional precautions. Safety hazards you need to be aware of when using a glue gun include electric shocks, skin burns, and hazards to your eyes. Let’s take a more in-depth look at what to do before and while you are using your glue gun.
There are several things that you should do prior to using an industrial glue gun in order to avoid any damage to other equipment, or personal injury to yourself, or other workers.
- Read the instruction manual.
All industrial glue gun manufacturers provide instructional manuals and safety guidelines for every model they produce. As a business owner, or floor manager, it is your responsibility that both you, and your employees familiarize yourselves with this information in order to avoid, or reduce liability costs, property damage, delayed production, or workman’s compensation situations. Take it upon yourself to ensure that every worker is trained in this information and that they abide by it anytime they are on the production floor.
- Inspect the glue gun before use.
Before you begin using an industrial glue gun, you should conduct a careful inspection of the gun to make sure it is safe to use. Look for signs of wear, including frayed electrical cords, and cracks in the gun or nozzle. You should also check that the nozzle and tip are correctly in place, and that the on/off switch is functioning properly. Some models only require that the cord be plugged-in in order to work; if this is the case, be sure you have checked the gun thoroughly before turning it on, and do not use a gun with signs of wear, or electrical components that do not work.
- Select and assemble all the proper components.
The application you are handling will greatly determine the type of gun you need to use for it. Smaller-sized projects, or applications obviously require a smaller gun, but also excellent precision and control when applying adhesives to substrates. It is important that you do some research into what models are best for your specific application, and also that you have the appropriate features, such as properly-fitting glue sticks and nozzles.
- Prepare your work area.
Along with ensuring your glue gun is properly functioning, and that you are utilizing an appropriate model for your application, you need to be sure you are working in a clean, and hazard-less work space. Loose materials, tools, and other equipment need to be removed and placed in their appropriate locations, unless they are required for the application at hand.
- Wear appropriate safety equipment.
Before you begin working, you will also need to make sure you are wearing proper safety clothing. These include items like safety glasses and gloves that are made from material like leather and that protect your skin from both unwanted burns and electrical shocks. Depending on the adhesive you are using, you may also want to wear a protective mask to avoid inhaling hazardous fumes. You should also be wearing clothing, or uniforms that don’t expose a great amount of skin, as well as close-toed shoes or boots, and have long hair tied back behind your head.
Once you have completed the safety inspection and have all of the required equipment and safety items on hand, it is time to begin working. Safety precautions during use are pretty straight forward, but you do need to practice them with care in order to avoid injury and ensure damage control.
- Once plugged in, DO NOT TOUCH the nozzle or glue while in use, as this could lead to a serious burn.
- Keep the gun in an upright position; this will prevent the gun, or hot glue from coming in contact with unwanted surfaces or substrates, especially those that can ignite easily.
- NEVER leave your glue gun plugged in, or unattended when in use.
- When not in use, set the gun down using its own support stand in an upright position, with the nozzle facing downwards. Place a piece of material, like cardboard underneath the nozzle in order to prevent hot glue from dripping onto unwanted surfaces.
- NEVER leave your gun lying on its side; this is a serious fire hazard, especially when using flammable material.
- Use only glue sticks that are the appropriate size for your gun.
- DO NOT REMOVE glue sticks from your gun once they have been plugged in and begun to heat the adhesive.
Once you have finished using your glue gun, or if you simply need to change the nozzle, you must unplug it and allow it to cool. It is extremely important that your equipment is either turned off, or unplugged, and properly stored in the upright position when not in use.Following all of these safety tips will help to ensure you have a safe and productive work-space. It is of the utmost importance that you follow these guidelines at all times, and that your employees and workers are also adhering to them. In the event that burn does occur, treat it right away with ice, and call for emergency medical services if an injury is more serious, or if hot adhesive comes in contact with your eye(s).