Safety Tips

Grinders

Safety First

Safety Procedures need to be followed when using grinders and grinder wheels. Proper maintenance and operation of the grinder(s) in your work area will contribute to a safe worksite. Use equipment guards, common sense, and personal protective equipment (PPE) as part of your safety plan.

Grinders and Wheels

There are three main types of grinders:

Bench
Pedestal
Portable

Grinders can be equipped with various wheels, such as:

Straight cup
Cone and plug
Depressed centre

No matter which type you use, make sure you know the proper procedures for the grinder and wheel you are using. Read the manufacturer's instructions.

Take your time to do the job the safe way - the right way.

Avoid Grinding to a Halt

There are many factors to consider in the safe operation of grinders and wheels.

Regular maintenance and inspection should include:

Cleaning and servicing
Inspection of wheels for cracks and defects
A ring test on all new wheels
Checking for clean and flat flange surfaces

A proper record should be kept of all maintenance completed on the grinders at your worksite. Only have competent workers do repairs. Proper and well adjusted equipment guards, good housekeeping, proper maintenance, and skillful operating will ensure a good safety record.

Protection from Hazards

PPE is essential in any grinding operation. You must be aware of hazards to yourself and others in the area.

Watch for these hazards:

The wheel may break and send pieces flying at great speeds
Sparks from the grinder wheel can cause a fire or explosion if used too close to flammable materials
You may be injured by getting your hand or clothing caught in the grinder

Wear this equipment:

Safety glasses, goggles, and face protection
Gloves, aprons, and metatarsal safety boots
Respiratory protection as required

Safety, Speed, and Storage

You can bet that many workers have ignored simple safety rules around grinders. Lost-time claims and serious personal injuries must be avoided. Take care on the job. Know the speed factors for your equipment and then finish the job right by storing the gear properly.

Be safe:

Set up protective barriers to contain sparks
Stand away from the wheel when you start the grinder
Run the wheel for one minute before grinding
Use the right wheel for the right job - don't grind wood, plastics, and non-iron metals on ordinary wheels
Never remove or disable the guard even if it allows you to work faster

Be smart:

Maximum speed in rpm's is marked on the wheel - don't go over this speed
Make sure the wheel speed is equal to or more than the maximum speed of the grinder
When you are using a new grinder, measure the speed a few times
Measure the speed on all grinders after any repairs

Be sure:

Handle and store tools and equipment with care - it only makes sense
Store portable grinders on racks or hooks
Store wheels in racks or bins with dividers - don't pile objects on top of wheels
Don't store wheels near heat. Also avoid contact with oil or moisture

Grinding Your Way Home

After a long day at work, it's easy to come home and leave the safety standards back at the job site. Don't let that happen to you. A consistent safety routine and the right attitude helps avoid injury at work. Follow your own best advice and bring grinding safety rules to your home.

In the garage, basement or workshop, take the same measures you would at work:

Clean and repair your portable grinders and home equipment regularly
Have the right safety gear on hand for you and family members
Teach the proper care and use of grinders - but only to children able to handle the responsibility
Keep young children away and give them good reasons why it is unsafe to be near grinders

Whether you're sharpening a tool, skates, or a blade, follow the safety rules that you know from work. Your family will be watching and learning positive safety steps from you.

A Steady Hand in Safety

You're the operator; you're the boss. You know it takes a steady hand a good eye to get the job done right. Share your safety knowledge with co-workers. Don't let safety shortcuts lead to accidents. With proper maintenance and operations in place, all workers will be better off.

For more information, refer to current applicable Occupational Health and Safety Legislation.