Forging and being a blacksmith is quite a hazardous profession. Blacksmiths who have been in the Forging profession for many years will often be marked with scars and burns, they will have picked these up throughout their years of forging.
There are many hazards of forging, the obvious ones such as burns and smoke poisoning, other hazards can occur such as cuts, scrapes, crushed fingers and sight or hearing damage.
A blacksmith when forging will spend a long-time hammering iron and steel. This is mainly done on an anvil. The anvil is not good for rebounds, so can cause a blacksmith to do twice the work, this can cause repetitive strain on the elbows. Another joint that could suffer when forging is the knees, a blacksmith will spend many hours on their feet, standing on hard floors, this will put added strain onto their knee joints. It is a good idea to wear good quality safety boots to protect feet from any metal or tools that may be dropped.
When forging there is an obvious risk of fire and burns. In a forging workshop, fires can happen at any time. Your forge should be a safe distance from any wooden tools, it is advisable to have fire extinguishers and water nearby, just in case. A blacksmith should always be wearing protective clothing to protect the skin from being burned. Usually, a big fireproof apron is worn to cover as much of your body as possible.
A blacksmith also must be careful as there is a huge risk to sight and hearing. Hot pieces of metal can easily be flying around causing damage to eyes before you start hammering you should always put on protective goggles. Hearing can also be damaged too due to the roar of the forge and the surrounding machines; a blacksmith must always wear earplugs.
Another problem that can arise when forging is smoke and gas poisoning, Carbon Monoxide is extremely dangerous and even cause a fatality. When forging is carried out indoors there must be relevant ventilation and maybe a chimney or flue to get rid of the damaging fumes. There should be co and smoke detectors. Frequent breaks should be always be taken to get some fresh air.
Always protect yourself when doing forging, it is always better to be safe than sorry.