Belt Disc Sander Safety

Written by erin steeley
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Belt Disc Sander Safety
Hearing protection should be worn while using a belt disc sander. (safety first image by Rick Sargeant from Fotolia.com)

Belt and disc sanders are used to finish off wood and metal by removing rough ends and smoothing edges. They require training and intimate knowledge of safety procedures to operate. Workers also wear safety equipment to help protect them from hazards that are created during use. Proper maintenance is another aspect of securing a safe working environment.

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Considerations

Workers using belt disc sanders are best prepared through proper training. The individual, in training, learns the different parts of the sander and to use it correctly. A key aspect taught are the various safety procedures that have to be followed. Once the training is completed, the worker has to take a test and show that they can use the machine appropriately.

Safety Gear

Belt disc sanders can create debris and loud noise that create potential problems for the worker. Hearing protection, such as earplugs or headphones help reduce noise damage. Safety glasses protect the eyes from flying debris that comes off of the wheel. Workers wear a respirator or mask to reduce breathing in dust.

Belt Disc Sander Safety
Jewellery can easily get caught in the rollers of a belt sander. (jewellery image by Vladislav Gajic from Fotolia.com)

Belt Disc Sander Hazards

Workers have to use great caution and focus while using a belt sander. Things such as a hand or shirt sleeve can easily get caught up in the rollers. Workers are best protected when they wear tight fitting clothing and avoid any kind of jewellery. The individual can get injured if their hand comes into contact with the belt. Having a guard in place and keeping the hands away from the rotating belt can prevent this.

Maintenance

Belt disc sanders need proper maintenance to keep them running properly and safely. Periodically, the belt or the drum may wear out, showing tears or frayed ends. When this happens the belt may come apart and send flying debris into the area. The best prevention is to examine the machine before use and replace any damaged or worn parts.

Other Considerations

Keeping the work area clean around the sander. Gloves are another item that workers should not wear, as they can stuck in the belt and bring your hand closer to the surface. The belt should be kept just tight enough to keep it from slipping while it is being used.

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