Angle grinder is the most potential cutting device compared to many other saws. It’s a hand-held power tool assembled with an abrasive metal cutting disc that offers a wide range of cutting and polishing of materials including metal, bolts, angle iron, rebar, concrete, sheet metal, and other robust materials, etc.
This brilliant device is commonly used in metal workshops, construction sites, and hardware shops. One of the unique features of this device is that it comes with various grinding wheels and other key attachments.
In spite of being a versatile tool, every year significant numbers of injuries occur from angle grinder due to use of the defective machine, mishandling, use of the wrong wheel, flying rough metal particles, directly contacting the running machine, sudden ejection of machinery parts during operation, negligence about maintaining safety protocols, operation by unskilled operators, etc. revealed by different industrial safety studies and hospital reports across the world. Following is the list of major injuries:
- Eye injury and vision loss;
- Electrocution and burns;
- Long-term impact injury including permanent damage of organs;
- Post-injury trauma;
However, keeping in mind the above causes of injuries, I have designed this article outlining angle grinder safety and 7 tips to prevent accidents to make operators aware of safety protocols and their strict adherence.
1. Angle Grinder Safety Checks
Reading User’s Instruction Manuals
It’s obligatory to read the user’s manual thoroughly to learn about the machine, its configuration, operational procedures, maintenance, and associated risk factors, etc. to avoid potential injuries and hazards. You must be familiar with the important assembly of angle grinder and its specifications including blades, wheel guard, handle, mounting hardware, flange, power assembly and spindle locks, etc.
Training is compulsory for safer and correct operation of any power tool. Train yourself on the required skill associated with the operation and maintenance of your device. Keep yourself updated with the latest information and technology in a timely manner, specially safety issues to avoid untoward situations including accidents.
2. Wear Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
Angle grinder moves at high speed up to 12000 rpm leading it to cut any contacted materials irrespective of the category of materials, even human organs which are not out of them. Always keep in mind that an angle grinder can only recognize materials for grinding and can’t distinguish human organs to avoid cuts.
Read more: Finding the Perfect Class 3 Safety Vests
Organize and Wear PPE
Gather all your safety equipment including face shields, industrial goggles, helmet, boots, ear-gear, registered hand gloves, protective jacket, etc. as specified in the manufacturer’s manual. Before going to operate your machine, you must wear these essential safety gears to be protected from accidents and injuries.
3. Organize Safety Compliant Setup
Preparing safety compliant setup is repeatedly triggered by the professionals to produce professional-grade performance and safety of the operators. Take care of all compliance issues to ensure a safer and professional work environment as recommended by the manufacturers.
Keep your workshop dry, clean and well ventilated. Don’t mess up the environment with excessive and unnecessary materials.
Remove flammable items:
Remove all flammable items including matches, fuels, liquids etc.
Inspect Power Connection
Check out all power connections and make sure they all are in place. There should be no torn wire or any faulty accessories that may cause electric short circuit and electrocution.
Protection From Sparks
Keep your workspace protective against sparks or other associated risks from an angle grinder. Keep a fire-extinguisher to manage fire hazard.
4. Assemble Angle Grinder
Before carrying out operations, you must look at certain aspects to get your machine ready for operation.
Assemble All Parts Properly
Make sure all parts are assembled properly as per the user’s guideline. The materials going to be grinded are properly placed and firmly clamped with the workbench.
Place Safety Guard
Ensure safety guard of the angle grinder is appropriately placed.
Inspect the entire power connection and its placement so as to quickly handle any untoward situation if it arises to be protected from short circuit and electrocution.
5. Cautions During Operation
Follow Operational Procedure
Run your machine as per manufacturer’s guidelines. Remember, accidents and injuries from negligence never compensate for the loss.
Inspect the Disc
It’s mandatory to inspect if the disc runs properly. Ensure the disc spins at a clean axis and does not tremble.
Beware of your hand and keep them away from the grinding piece and rotating disc. Remember, your hand could be suddenly slashed by a high speed rotating disc if they somehow contact the disc. Don’t forget that angle grinder can’t recognize human organs to avoid cuts.
Kickback is one of the violent reactions of power tools, and angle grinder is not out of it, leading to serious injuries. Kickback occurs by pinching when the disc suddenly gets halted during the operation. This causes a rebound effect between the grinder and the surface leading it to hurt the operator or bystanders.
Use of faulty blades and running the grinder for too long at a time also triggers the potential risk of kickback leading them to overheat and wobble rapidly which also causes potential risk of kick-back.
To prevent kickback, it’s strongly recommended to use a standardized disc and check the disc condition by running it for at least 30 seconds before operation.
Cut the material straight at a 90-degree angle. Don’t force the disc into the grinder and avoid tilting close to the disc in order to prevent kickback injuries.
Turn Off Grinder if Any Adjustment Required
If you notice any abnormality and/or if the disc needs replacement, unplug your machine from the power source and then fix the things whatever necessary. Before restarting, ensure the guard is in place. Else, you may receive an electric shock and get electrocuted or lacerated. Never tend to work with a defective machine or wrong attachment.
6. Post Operation Care
Don’t Leave the Guard in Operating Mode
One of the unsafe practices among the operators is that they often tend to leave the guard in operating mode after the work is done which often triggers accidents.
Unplug the grinder before cleaning the waste. Clean your grinder properly as per the user’s guideline and store them in a dry place for reuse.
After use, check out all parts including disc, blades, and guards are in good condition for further use. If needed, replace or repair them as per the manufacturer’s guideline. Never tend to use defective tools.
Every machine needs routine Maintenance. Routinely check out your machine, set of detachable parts to ensure they all are in workable condition. If necessary, repair or replace them without any delay and consult the manufacturer for professional guidance.
Always pay attention to the quality while purchasing a new set or replacing any parts.
I hope the list of major injuries and primary safety tips associated with angle grinder would make you aware of and insist you to adhere while you need to deal with your tool. I would emphasize if you detect any abnormality at pre, during and post-operation, please fix them or replace parts if necessary immediately.
If you need further consultations, you are most welcome to contact us as convenient. You can also check with the manufacturer to efficiently deal with your concerns. Never get exposed to dangers by using defective machines or mishandling.
I’m sure if you strictly adhere to all safety protocols before implementing your project, it would give you the worthy experience about angle grinder and its specialized cutting abilities.
Always keep yourself updated with tools related to the latest information and knowledge.
I look forward to hearing from you about your comments and feedback so that we can optimize our expertise to provide you with more specialized services in the days to come. I would highly appreciate it if you share this article with people you know so that they too have access to our excellent clients’ services.
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About This Writer
Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.