Bench grinders can cause serious injury if used incorrectly. By following the safe work practices listed below, you can help reduce the risk of injuring yourself or others while using these powerful tools.
Safe work practices
- Never remove wheel guards from a grinder. They offer protection in case of wheel failure, and protect hands and fingers from injury.
- When work is hand-held, the grinding machine must have an adjustable rest. The upper edge of the adjustable rest must be at or above the centerline of the abrasive wheel and within 3 mm (8 in.) of the cutting surface.
- Ensure that grinder stones and discs are matched to the RPM rating of the grinder. A low-RPM stone or disc may shatter on a high-RPM grinder. Never grind non-ferrous materials (metals not containing iron) unless the wheel is designed for such use
- Ensure you dress (sharpen) the wheel often.
- Do not grind on the side of the wheel unless it is designed for such use.
- Do not stand directly in front of a grinding wheel when you start it. Before you begin grinding, allow the wheel to run at operating speed for at least one minute.
- Do not use a wheel that vibrates.
- Do not force or jam work into the wheel.
- Do not use a cracked or dropped wheel.
Personal protective equipment
- Always wear hearing, eye, and face protection that is appropriate for the type of grinding work you’re doing.
- Respiratory protection may be required if your grinding work puts you at risk of inhaling harmful substances (e.g., dust, metal fumes, or chemicals).
- Secure loose clothing, and remove ties, rings, watches, and other jewellery.
- If you’re not sure what type of personal protective equipment you need, ask your supervisor or employer.