Skip to content

Grinding using a cutting disc

What happened?

Seamen were grinding sea-fastening spots in the hold, and one of them made a complaint to the Chief Officer about the quality of the grinding discs, they could only grind one spot away before the disc disintegrated and pieces were flying everywhere. The Chief Officer ordered them not to use these discs anymore pending investigation.

Klingspor A24Extra Flat Cutting Disc
Klingspor A24Extra Grinding Discs

What went wrong?

  • Investigation revealed that the marking and appearance of the disc led to misunderstanding as to proper use:
    • the discs looked like a normal grinding disc, but also bore the text ‘cutting’, leading to the conclusion that they were cutting discs
    • none of the officers or crew on board had ever seen a cutting disc this thick before, so that is probably why the mistake was made
    • the discs were clearly marked ‘Not to be used for grinding’;
  • Further investigation showed from this particular brand (Kronenflex) there is type A24Extra as both a grinding disc and as a cutting disc.

What were the causes?

  • There was no check of the disks on delivery, or before use;
    • inadequate attention and awareness of the crew, failing to spot the wrong kind of disc before use.
    • supplier asked to deliver grinding discs and instead delivered cutting discs – but no-one noticed.

What actions were taken? What lessons were learned?

  • Ensure crew are thoroughly aware of what happened; a safety moment was planned to show this disc and to demonstrate that it is not a grinding disc, although it looks like one;
  • Ensure equipment and tools are carefully selected and inspected before use;
  • When ordering these items, the purchase department should ensure the grinding wheels are of good quality and marked with an expiry date.

Members may wish to look at the following:

Safety Event

Published: 2 October 2018
Download: IMCA SF 23/18

Relevant life-saving rules:
IMCA Safety Flashes
Submit a Report

IMCA Safety Flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing lessons to be more easily learnt for the benefit of all. The effectiveness of the IMCA Safety Flash system depends on Members sharing information and so avoiding repeat incidents. Please consider adding [email protected] to your internal distribution list for safety alerts or manually submitting information on incidents you consider may be relevant. All information is anonymised or sanitised, as appropriate.

IMCA’s store terms and conditions ( apply to all downloads from IMCA’s website, including this document.

IMCA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the documents it publishes, but IMCA shall not be liable for any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained. The information contained in this document does not fulfil or replace any individual’s or Member's legal, regulatory or other duties or obligations in respect of their operations. Individuals and Members remain solely responsible for the safe, lawful and proper conduct of their operations.