Grinder Safety Checklist

A grinder is a power tool that accomplishes tasks such as finishing, polishing and shaping of metal or wood pieces. Workers in fields such as metal manufacturing and ship building routinely use grinders, which are an indispensable part of the entire operation. Some of the common types of grinders include bench grinders, angle grinders, gear grinders and belt grinders. When you operate a grinder, keep in mind some important safety precautions that will be beneficial to you and also co-workers in the vicinity.

Work Area

Some of the requirements for a safe workplace are good visibility, ample space and a lack of clutter. Before you begin working with a grinder, you must ensure that you have enough room to move the tool and metal pieces as needed. Keep children away from the work area at all times and maintain a safe distance from your co-workers. Never work in damp locations or in the vicinity of combustible or inflammable materials.

Safety Equipment

Wear safety glasses, a dust mask, ear mufflers, a hard hat and sturdy boots. The safety glasses will protect your eyesight from flying objects, which can cause serious injury. A dust mask prevents inhalation of toxic dust and fumes that have been known to cause cancer. Ear mufflers protect your hearing from the loud noise, and slip-resistant footwear gives you better balance. Never wear jewellery that could get caught between moving parts of the tool. Restrain long hair and wear a hard hat over it.

Tool Safety

Inspect the grinder thoroughly before use. Look for broken or misaligned parts. Never operate a grinder if it is missing a guard or cover. Look for signs of damage on the electrical cord and perform necessary repairs. Before you start the grinder, make sure that the keys or wrenches are removed. If you leave these parts on and start the grinder, the parts could fly off and cause serious injury.

Electrical Safety

Use a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet to connect the grinder. Never alter the grinder plug in any manner. Avoid the use of extension cords.

Usage Safety

Use the grinder for its intended purpose only. Avoid using grinding wheels that are inappropriate for your model. Never use worn or damaged wheels. Read the provided instructions beforehand. If the grinding wheel is loose or vibrates, do not use it. Run the grinder for a couple of minutes before introducing the metal piece. Keep your hands and other parts of the body a safe distance away from the grinder. You must have a clear view of the tool and the work piece. Use a vice or clamp to hold the work piece if needed. Maintain a firm grip on the metal piece at all times. Never force the work piece, because it could rebound. Avoid touching the metal immediately after operation, because it will be very hot.

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About the Author

Lakshmy Nair has been a professional writer since 2004 and has worked for companies such as Lionbridge Technologies, Mumbai, India and Rand Worldwide, Mississauga, Canada. She holds an engineering degree from the University of Mumbai, India and a certification in technical communications from George Brown College, Toronto, Canada.