Grinding Wheel Safety

Few people realize that the grinding wheel in their workshop has the potential of becoming as deadly as a loaded gun without the safety catch on. In fact, almost 1 in every 4 grinder accidents is fatal. The reason for this is because one of the most common grinder accidents has to do with the grinding wheel shattering. The flying fragments are no less dangerous than shrapnel from a hand grenade.

Understanding and following basic safety procedures is crucial to avoiding grinding wheel accidents. No one should ever use a grinding wheel without knowing how to handle it properly.

Safety Measures for a grinding wheel:

  1. Do a visual inspection of the grinding wheel before using it.
  2. Never alter a wheel to make it fit. If it doesn’t fit it wasn’t meant to be used with that grinder.
  3. Make sure that the wheel is intended for the material you are grinding. Only grind material that is suited to the wheel that you are using.
  4. The eye shield that comes mounted on the grinding wheel does not mean that you do not need to wear safety glasses.
  5. The side of the grinding wheel is not meant to be used for grinding.
  6. Never use a grinding wheel that is cracked or broken.
  7. Always make sure that you read, understand and follow all the instructions concerning the grinding wheel.
  8. Make sure that you correctly install the right size flange (incorrect size flanges or unrelieved centers cause the wheel to move off center and make the wheel extremely dangerous).
  9. Do not try to remove too much material too fast.
  10. Make sure that you adjust the work rest correctly and use it correctly.
  11. Keep hands and clothing away from grinding wheel.
  12. Never “overspeed” your grinding wheel. ANSI B7.1 specifies that all grinding wheels should have a maximum operating speed. Never exceed the RPM listed.
  13. Do not wear jewelry or loose clothing while grinding.
  14. Always tap the grinding wheel with the non-metallic handle of a screwdriver. A damaged grinding wheel will give off a different sound than a safe one.
  15. Do not stand directly in front of the grinding wheel while grinding.