My husband works in construction so works with sand blasters all the time. One of the main reasons he uses a sandblaster is to clean rust off of steel. They also use them to clean concrete surfaces so the new concrete will bond to the old surface.
The sandblasting equipment they use on their jobs is heavy duty and would be much different than a handheld one.
When they use a shot blaster to remove paint lines from a road, you ride on this equipment like you would a truck. It has a vacuum to suck up the shot and the paint to prevent contamination.
When they work with their blasting equipment on the job, they are required to wear eye protection and a dust respirator.