Although grinders are used in daily applications, you can never be complacent when it comes to the safety guidelines when operating them. Not only does the equipment have to be handled correctly, but the actual operation needs to be treated with the upmost respect.
There are too many risks to name if safety guidelines are not strictly followed with every use. Here are the safety aspects you need to remember every time you use a grinder.
How to Use Grinders Safely
Check the Free Speed
Before checking the free speed, make sure you remove the grinding wheel and outer flange. At a pressure of 6.3 bars, the measured speed must not exceed the rated speed which is marked on the grinder – ensure this marking is legible. Carry out this free speed check daily and in the event of over speeding, return the machine for repair.
Check the Wheel Guard
The wheel guard is extremely important as it protects your health and safety, and a grinder should never be used without one. Always use the recommended wheel guard and check that it’s not damaged; the right dimension of grinding wheel should always be used so the grinding wheel’s rotational speed (in rpm) is not exceeded.
When operating, position the wheel guard between yourself and the grinding wheel. Check that the trigger is working correctly too and if it’s not, make sure it is replaced as soon as possible. The trigger must never be removed or fixed by tape.
Check the Maximum Speed
It is imperative that the stated maximum speed of the grinding wheel is greater than or equal to the speed specified on the grinder.
Check the Grinding Wheel
The grinding wheel should have the correct hole dimensions and be fitted correctly on the spindle to avoid unbalanced vibrations. Never use dropped, damaged or cracked wheels as these can cause serious injuries.
You can check if the grinding wheel is cracked by lightly tapping the disc with a small implement like the handle of a screwdriver and judging by the sound, you can determine if it has cracks. If you do find cracks or it is damaged in any way, it must be removed and replaced immediately.
Check the Flange & Wheel
Before operation, make sure that the flange and wheel combination correspond to national regulations. Also, ensure that the flanges are clean and undamaged. When changing the wheel or adjusting the tool, always remember to disconnect the air supply.
Attach the wheel with the recommended torque and check the grinder is working correctly by test-running your grinder in a protected area after assembling the wheel.
Wear Personal Protection Equipment
When operating the grinder, always ensure the operator wears:
- Eye protection, goggles or a visor
- Ear protection
- Steel toe-capped shoes
- Protective clothing, such as a leather apron
- A helmet (for heavier applications)
Remember to avoid wearing loosely hanging clothing, hair or jewellery as there is a high risk of them getting caught which is very dangerous.
Assess Your Working Area
Try to work within a sealed-off area, if possible, with protecting walls, since there is a risk that broken discs could fly off. This sealed-off area should be kept free from other people so there is less risk of injury, but people working nearby should also wear hearing and eye protection.
Make sure there is a stand or place available for the machine to be safely placed and ensure there is good ventilation and dust extraction from the premises.
Safety Guidelines to Remember During & After Operation
If the grinder makes abnormally loud noises and vibrations during use, stop using it immediately. Remember the grinder and its accessories should not be modified in any way. After use, make sure the machine is switched off and has come to a complete stop before it is put down. Always put down the grinder carefully, so there is no risk of it starting by itself.
When undertaking maintenance, make sure you follow the service instructions provided and the recommended service intervals. Never dismantle safety-related parts, such as the speed governor and overspeed shut off, and if these are damaged, completely replace them.
Compressed Air Tools Experts
There are a number of things you need to remember when it comes to operating a grinder safely. It’s vital these guidelines are strictly followed every time you use one of these tools in order to avoid any risk of danger or injury. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our experts.
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