Safety Guide for Strong Magnets



Some business functions involve handling magnets and magnet operated machinery for hours. Did you know that magnets could cause damage to your eyes and the digestive system? Or were you aware that magnets could pinch to cause lacerations and break bones?

Neodymium magnets are the strongest permanent magnets and for that reason pose great risk when handled without care. All strong magnets have to be handled safely and have general safety guides based on their unique properties. 

If you have strong magnets at your workplace you must take certain precautions to ensure your personal safety and that of your employees. 

Safety Precautions When Handling Strong Magnets

Magnets, when come into close contact with each other, will attract, slam or snap together. If you put your hands, fingers or any other body parts between two magnets, there are chances that you get pinched, form lacerations or crush or break your bones. 

When magnets slam into each other they can easily shatter and produce sharp fragments. There are chances of the chips and fragments getting into your eyes.

Magnets can also cause severe injuries if swallowed. It is a graver situation if more than one magnet is swallowed. Under such circumstances, magnets can slam into each other through the intestine walls, causing lacerations, sometimes swellings and even fatal injuries.

  • Always wear personal protective equipment like safety goggles and thick gloves when handling strong magnets.
  • Keep neodymium magnets away from children. 

Safeguard Your Electronic Equipment

Strong magnets should not be placed in close proximity to media devices as they can erase data from computer hard drives, disks, as well as video and audio tapes. If magnets come in close contact to credit cards, the magnetic strip on the back of the card can get corrupted.

Even a TV screen or computer monitor can get distorted if strong magnets are place nearby.

  • Keep neodymium magnets away from electronic equipment.

Keep Magnets Away From People With Implanted Magnetic Medical Devices

Individuals with heart pacemakers or other magnetic medical devices like implanted heart defibrillators should avoid being exposed to magnetic fields as the strong magnetic field can interfere with the function of implanted devices.

For instance, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machines use a powerful magnet; individuals with pacemakers are not allowed to go near them because the strong magnetic field can hinder the function of it.

Neodymium magnets are plated with nickel which can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Safety Precautions for Magnets While Transporting

For air shipment purposes, magnets are classified as dangerous goods. This is because strong magnets can interfere with the navigation instruments in aircraft. Packages containing magnetic materials should be identified and clearly labelled. 

To avoid neodymium magnets getting stuck to steel and iron objects, strong magnets should be packed in sturdy cardboard boxes and covered with soft packing.

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