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Monday, 22 July 2019

Tools Safety : Angle Grinder Safety

Topic : Tools Safety

Angle Grinder Safety

Power Tool Safety

Angle grinders are used for metalwork and fabrication such as grinding down welds. They are commonly used in workshops, construction, service garages and auto body repair shops. Angle grinders can be dangerous due to the high rpm involved, sparks and bits of metal that fly off as they cut and the need to remove guards to make awkward grinds.

Hazards to watch for:

  1. Most angle grinder injuries are from metal particles lodging in the operator’s eye.
  2. Kickback, where the disc is thrust away from the object it is grinding, can result in severe cuts to hands, arms, head, torso and legs.
  3. Discs can shatter or explode, sending pieces flying across the work area.

Safe procedures to follow:
  • Wear wide vision goggles, or safety glasses and a face shield.
  • Always use the correct type of disc. Make sure the disc speed limit (rpm) is greater than the angle grinder operating speed.
  • Ensure the guard and handles are secure.
  • Ensure the correct flange and locking nut are used for the type of disc. Otherwise the disc can shatter at high speed.
  • Ensure the disc is not defective or damaged. 
  • Allow the grinder to “run up” to operating speed before applying it to the job.
  • Hold the grinder against the work piece with minimum pressure so the disc doesn’t “dig in” and cause it to kick back.
  • Never bump the grinder on to the work, or let the disc hit any other object while grinding.
  • Keep the grinding disc at a 15 to 30 degree angle to the work.
  • Ensure the work piece is held firmly in a bench vice when appropriate.
  • Keep the work at waist height during grinding.
  • Stop the grinder regularly to rest your hands and arms.
  • When not in use, disconnect the power and place the grinder on a bench with the disc facing upwards.
  • Never put a grinder down until the disc stops rotating.
  • Disconnect power before changing discs.
  • Never use a cut off wheel for grinding or a grinding disc for cutting.
  • Dispose of any disc that has been dropped. Cracked or weakened discs can shatter in use.

While angle grinders have several serious hazards, safe use will minimize those hazards.
Let’s review the major points that apply to our work here and my expectations.

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