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by the NFCC

Hazard

Magnetic equipment

Hazard Knowledge

Magnetic equipment is widely used in industry for a number of different applications. Magnets can be used to lift and move heavy loads. Industrial magnets are often used in conveyor and chute systems to separate ferrous materials from non-ferrous materials.

They can also be used in recycling centres where plastic, glass, and other items need to be separated from any stray ferrous material. Magnetic sweepers can be used to pick up ferrous materials from the floors of industrial factories and construction sites.

The material being lifted or moved may fall from the equipment, especially if the magnet fails following loss of power to the lifting device or due to incorrect operation.

Any metallic material, regardless of whether it is attracted to magnetic fields, may strongly be attracted to magnetic equipment. These objects can become projectile hazards. Even non-magnetic materials such as aluminium can be affected and may twist violently in the magnetic field. This effect may impact on fire and rescue service equipment.

The magnetic field may severely affect some pacemakers and other metal implants or fragments including piercings, dental bridges or surgical pins.