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Handheld Portable Grinder Safety Toolbox Talk

November 2, 2021
Portable Grinder Safety Toolbox talk

Portable abrasive wheels are dangerous tools.

Their rotations create large amounts of energy that, when used improperly, can propel objects through the air, damage flesh, or cause the wheel itself to explode.

Always follow the manufacturers written instructions when using these tools.

Check the tool over carefully:

  • Is the cord in good condition?
  • Is the guard on tight?
  • Are the washers full size? They should just cover the paper washers that are glued onto the wheel.
  • Does the trigger work right? It should shut off when the triger depress?
  • Does the wheel turn smoothly and without any wobbling or vibration?
  • Wear the proper protective equipment
  • Wear goggles and safety shoes.
  • Wear any other necessary PPE.
  • Seek advice if you’re unsure about the most appropriate PPE.

Check the area around the job

  • Take note of any loose items or debris. Keep clear of anything you can’t pick up that you might trip over, such as a pipe, and notify people where it is.
  • Select a safe place to run the extension cord. You do not want anyone to trip over it or interfere with it, and you do not want to get your feet tangled in it.
  • Always make sure that all other employees are at a safe distance from the work area.

Competency of a Grinder Machine Operator

  • Portable grinders should only be handled by competent staff who have received training in the operation of grinding machines.
  • Before employees who will use grinders are allowed to utilize grinders, they must complete grinder safety training.

Portable Grinder Safety Precautions

  • Grinders shall include a ‘dead man switch’ mechanism. It is strictly prohibited to self-modify the toggle into a “dead man’s switch” because the tool may not have been designed to be used in that manner and might be hazardous from an Ergonomics standpoint.
  • A handle, commonly known as the “T” bar, is required on all handheld grinding machines. During operation, the handle must not be removed.
  • The manufacturer’s guard for each grinder should be used. The shield shall cover at least 70% of the disc circumference.
  • All pedestal/static grinding machines with adjustable screens that can protect against flying debris should be equipped with Unbreakable glass/plastic screens.
  • The starting and stopping mechanism on a pedestal/static grinding machine must be easy to use, and it must be accessible.
  • Before each machine is used, it must be inspected and color-coded.
  • Without a maximum RPM designated by the manufacturer, wheels with grinding or cutting discs should not be used.
  • If machine RPM exceeds that of a wheel, it is highly likely that the wheel will break.
  • Grinding and cutting discs are made differently, so they should only be used for their intended purpose. Cutting wheel is just for cutting, not for grinding; it’s unsafe to use a cutting wheel on a grindstone.
  • All personnel operating grinders shall use appropriate protective equipment, which includes double eye protection such as a shatter-resistant face shield and an inhalation mask such as a dust mask. Leather gloves should be worn by all personnel who operate grinders.
  • Around abrasive wheel machines, work areas should be kept clear of obstacles to decrease the danger of tripping hazards.
  • When welding/grinding, fire-blanked screens should be used to keep sparks from showering welders and equipment.
  • The cables should be run neatly in a tidy manner on insulated hangers that do not pose a tripping hazard.
  • When replacing the grinder’s grinding disc, make sure the power source is disconnected and the plug removed physically.
  • The expiry year will be apparent on the disk. Do not use a grinding disk that has expired. & Never put a wheel with an unknown expiration date on your disks.
  • Work-pieces must be clamped using appropriate clamps. Grinding tasks are not to be performed while holding the workpiece in one hand.
  • Employees must be told not to stand in front of the wheel as it reaches full operating speed due to the risk of a tire disintegrating during startup.
  • Replace the grinding or cutting disc if it has become worn, frayed, or damaged. When changing the disc, use the correct tools.
  • At the end of each shift, any worn-out, damaged, or grinding-orcutting disc must be turned in to the stores so that it may be properly disposed of.
  • While not in use, the power supply should be disconnected and the plug physically removed.

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