Handle With Care: Tips for Magnet Safety
Magnets might appear small and shiny, but don’t underestimate their strength. Similar to other pieces of equipment and tools, there are common sense guidelines for handling magnets.
These tips for magnet safety can help prevent personal injury and property damage.
- Wear gloves and take care when handling magnets. Pinching, snapping or crushing can easily occur when a finger is caught between two attracting magnets. Many of our magnets come with plastic spacers just for this reason.
- Wear protective eyewear. Magnets are brittle and pieces easily can chip or shatter if they accidentally snap together, sending shards flying.
- Magnets are not toys. Do not give to children to play with without proper instruction and supervision.
- Do not swallow magnets. They can do severe damage to internal organs, resulting in surgery or death.
- Magnets can interfere with pacemakers and other medical devices such as magnetic ports. Avoid wearing badge magnets, decorative magnetic clips, or similar items near the device. Consult with a physician or product manufacturer for additional information.
- Many magnets are coated with nickel to prevent corrosion. People with nickel allergies should avoid prolonged handling of these magnets.
- Always properly store and label industrial magnets. The extreme strength poses an added risk to users who may be unaware of the magnet’s capabilities.
- Always store magnets in the “Off” position or with shields, if available.
- Take care in placing electronics near magnets to avoid damage. Extended exposure can alter or erase information stored on older electronics including computer diskettes, audio/video cassettes, credit cards or other magnetically stored media and electronic equipment.
- Magnets affect compasses and navigational equipment. For this reason, magnets to be shipped by air should be properly packed and shielded. Rare earth magnets are classified as dangerous for air transportation. Refer to Shipping Magnets: Understanding the Rules for additional information
While many magnets with low pull strength may not pose the same danger that very strong rare earth magnets do, it’s always a good idea to treat magnets with respect. If you have additional questions or concerns, our Magnet Experts are happy to answer all your questions!