Goldsmiths and silversmiths use hammers frequently in their work, silversmiths especially. A regular trade goldsmith might use a bench hammer with a ring on a mandrel twenty or more times a day. Blacksmithing operations use coal fires, gas torches and kilns. View these Hammering and Forging Safety Guidelines for your safety.
See warnings related to “Blacksmithing” for more information. Vibration. Eye dangers from shattering hammers and flying bits of material. CTDs and ergonomic issues. Hearing damage due to noise. In the special safety issue of The Crafts Report, the American Academy of Otolaryngology notes that “as a general rule, noise may damage your hearing if you have to shout over background noise to make yourself heard, if the noise hurts your ears, if it makes your ears ring, or if you are slightly deaf for several hours after exposure to the noise” (33). Hot forging involves burning fuel that may produce carbon monoxide; make sure to ventilate well. Gas handling issues, coal dust and other dangers are present when hot-forging steel.
Not much. Depends upon the material being hammered. For instance, hammering a lot of copper exposes you to a great deal of copper oxide, which can affect you. Possible issues with the oil or sealer used for the handle.
Flying hammer heads, broken shards of hammer head or material slicing into your eyes. Vibration injury or other musculoskeletal injury. Hearing damage.
Primarily a problem for silversmiths and others who hammer for long periods of time. Examine working heights and posture carefully. Have a specialist watch you once to twice to identify things you are doing wrong. Take frequent breaks, stretch and change your body position. Change working heights during the work day. Use your shoulder preferentially, then your elbow,and try not to use your wrist much at all when hammering.
See “Fire Safety Rules“. A blacksmith’s trick is to hammer on a piece of bar stock so fast that it heats up to a red glow and is then used to light the fire. I have seen this done. It is not a likely problem for goldsmiths. The oils (and their thinners) used on hammer handles are flammable. Sparks are possible when hammering.
Eyes, body, hearing, possibly skin with oils, inhalation of dusts raised by hammering.
Die forming, spinning, casting, pressing, construction methods.