An angle grinder is the most useful and important tool that you have mostly seen at the construction and renovation sites.
It features a sharp disc that can be used for cutting metal, grinding and sharpening different tools. Just because of its sharp abrasive disc that rotates as fast as the speed of light, you should be very cautious while using this tool.
So before using this tool, you must have proper knowledge about Angle Grinder Safety Tips.
According to US product consumer safety commission, around 25,000 angle grinder accidents were reported in 2008 and that’s pure because of not taking proper precautions while using safety grinders.
Angle grinder will indeed make your work easier but at the same time if you don’t take proper precautions you will have to suffer a lot.
Types of Accidents Caused by Angle Grinders
No one can deny the fact that the majority of the angle grinders injuries are caused either using the wrong wheel for the task or using a tool in the wrong way.
Following are some of the common injuries that have been reported using angle grinders;
- Minor or major cuts to the skin
- Injuries to eyes
- Injuries to head
- Injuries to foot
- Injuries to hand
Possible Causes of Angle Grinder Accidents
Generally speaking, majority of the above-mentioned injuries are usually caused by the flying particles of metal and other objects that are being operated by angle grinders.
Interestingly, there are some other reasons too which include:
Contact with wheel:
Angle grinders are known for cutting concrete and metal object. If something comes in contact with the wheel of angle grinder, it will obviously cut into small pieces.
How to avoid:
- make sure to use safety guard properly and
- Wear gloves to have a firm grip
- Be alert during using it
It has also observed that due to low maintenance and long term operation, the abrasive wheel may burst.
How to avoid:
- Mount disc correctly
- Keep checking disc from time to time
- Only use the disc in good condition – which has its expiry date and speeds limitations marked on it
Contact with flying objects:
During metal or concrete cutting, small pieces of metal and concrete fly and they sometimes hit the eye hardly. This may cause damage to the eye.
- How to avoid: by wearing PPE’s
- Angle grinder Kickback: kickback is a common phenomenon of power tools in which the moving blade or disc gets pinched in the lumber, which causes the tool to jerk back towards the operator. Majority of the angle grinder accidents are caused by kickbacks. User loses control because of angle grinder kickbacks and causes injuries to the operator
How to avoid:
- Make sure you are using the right wheel
- Right wheel should be used at right speed
- Mount wheel properly
- Always wear PPE
When you are using an angle grinder, it’s for sure that sparks will be produced. These sparks are more than enough to produce fire in a flammable region such as refueling stations. Sparks are obvious. You cannot stop this. But you have to be very careful while using an angle grinder as they are the clear risk of fire.
How to avoid:
- Check the area properly where you are planning to use an angle grinder
- The area should not have any explosive or flammable material
ANGLE GRINDER SAFETY TIPS
We dint meant to scare you of an angle grinder. It’s a versatile tool that can be used for different purposes. You can use this tool fearlessly by following the below-mentioned safety tips religiously. You can also check out this quick angle grinder safety rule.
- Wear right PPE’s including angle grinder gloves and eye protectors
- Choose the right disc size and type that is appropriate with your job
- Attach the disc firmly
- Install the handle according to your comfortability
- Check the on/off button
- Use the angle grinder guard for protection purpose
- Remove unnecessary objects from your work station.
- Remove flammable and explosive material from your workplace
- Plug in the angle grinder
- Now start it and run new wheels for a minute in the protected area.
- Slowly start the angle grinder and then speed it up
- Press the off button when completed your work
- Put the angle grinder on the desk
- Now unplug the angle grinder
Check the Angle Grinder:
The first and foremost thing, before starting to work on your project is to check the angle grinder.
- Make sure that it should be in proper condition.
- The handle should be firmly attached to the grinder. Also, check the position of the handle. if you are right-handed I will advise you to install it on the right side so that you can work otherwise install it on the left side if you are lefty.
- Check the grinder disc. Your desired disc should be secure properly and tightly in its place. Operating grinder with incorrect disc may be quite harmful both for the operator and the tool.
- Make sure the wheel guard is of the correct size, type and is in good condition.
- Ensure that the power cord should be free of pinches, exposed wires, and kinks.
- Check the spindle lock, either it is moving freely or not
- Check the on/off button, either it is working.
Once you are satisfied that your tool is maintained and ready to be operated then move on to the next step.
Check the Surrounding Area:
- As mentioned earlier, it is mandatory to use an angle grinder in such an area where there isn’t any explosive or flammable material.
- Your workstation should not have any other object that may tangle in the wire of angle grinder may cause any damage.
- Make sure the workstation should be free from any excessive material.
Once you have checked the area, now move on to the next step.
Get Yourself Ready:
Here comes the most important safety tips that is prepare yourself.
After you have checked the area and angle grinder, it is advisable to prepare yourself now.
- First and foremost thing that you have to do is wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE’s) that include thick gloves, ear protectors, face shields, eye protectors, hard boots, ear protectors and hard hats.
- Also, make sure that you are not wearing loose clothing as it may tangle in the wheel and may cause damage.
Use angle grinder only if you are sure that you can properly handle it. If you don’t know how to use angle grinder then it is advisable not to use it. Because we don’t want you to be a bad workman who quarrels with his tool so, first take proper training of using power tools then you are eligible for using angle grinder. Otherwise, hire someone who can use an angle grinder.
READY, STEADY AND GO!
Now that you have worn PPEs you are ready to start your angle grinder.
What you have to do is start slowly.
Keeping in mind the concept of slow and steady wins the race. Slowly start the angle grinder, once you find your groove you can speed up.
If you are cutting a tile, start it off slowly with a small incision in the material and gradually move inwards with a smooth back and forth movements.
Once you are done with your job, switch off the grinder and then place it on the desk and unplug the grinder immediately.
An angle grinder is a very useful tool that you can keep in your shed. For professional use, it’s a versatile tool that offers so many uses.
As it is a powerful tool so care must be maintained while using this tool. Though it’s a useful tool but it can become a dangerous tool if you handle it recklessly.
I assure you that if you follow the above mention grinder safety rules, you will not only keep protected from angle grinder accidents but also you can work more efficiently.
Your safety would be further enhanced if you wear proper personal protective equipment which includes angle grinder gloves and face mask.