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Portable grinders – hand safety

A member has reported on a review of abrasive wheels on board a chartered vessel as a part of abrasive wheel training delivery, in which there were a number of significant faults found with portable hand grinders. These required urgent and immediate attention.

The three issues illustrated below cover the appropriate and proper safe use of power tools:

Worn disc and as new disc 9″ Grinder with 5″ disc fitted

Our member noted the following:

  • Grinders and grinding discs should never be used in this manner;
  • Grinding discs should be inspected before use to ensure that they are in acceptable condition and are the correct size, type and rating for the grinder;
  • There have been many fatalities caused by incorrect discs being used – many due to the disc shattering at speed;
  • Only trained and competent personnel should use abrasive wheels;
  • If you aren’t sure, ask!

Whilst no cause for complacency, it is instructive to note that incidents involving inappropriate use of hand-held grinders tend to be further in the past, possibly indicating that lessons have been learnt in recent times. Returning to those lessons is nevertheless an entirely appropriate use of time and resources.

Members may wish to refer to the following incidents (search words: grinder, grinding):

Safety Event

Published: 18 October 2016
Download: IMCA SF 28/16

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