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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

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    How to safely operate an angle grinder


    Angle grinders are powerful tools and improper handling can result in work accidents through kickbacks causing severe lacerations. Grinder discs may disintegrate or shatter, potentially scattering fragments that could become lodged in operators’ bodies or eyes. High noise levels may also result in industrial deafness if ear protection is not worn.

    Employers’ duties to prevent accidents at work

    To help prevent angle grinder accidents, employers must:

    • Provide appropriate training and instructions in safety procedures to operators
    • Provide appropriate PPE (personal protection equipment)
    • Provide one-to-one supervision for employees being trained in, or whom are unfamiliar with, using angle grinders
    • Provide welding screens preventing other employees being injured by flying sparks or particles
    • Ensure other employees maintain safe distances from grinding operations
    • Ensure angle grinders are regularly maintained and examined for electrical safety
    • Ensure defects are repaired immediately and by qualified and licensed electricians

    Recommended PPE includes:

    • Ear muffs
    • Eye protection (face shields, safety glasses, wide vision goggles)
    • Steel toe-capped safety boots
    • Fitted protective clothing or overalls
    • Well-fitting gloves

    Employees’ duties to prevent work accidents

    Angle grinder operators must wear protective equipment provided and work according to provided training and safe work procedures. Before operating grinders, workers should ensure that:

    • Handles and guards are secure
    • The right disc for the job is used (disconnect from power supply before changing discs)
    • Correct locking nuts or flanges for the disc in use are securely in place
    • The disc to be used is not damaged or defective

    Health and safety at work

    To use angle grinders safely, operators should:

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    • Never remove guards
    • Operate grinders using both hands
    • Allow grinders to reach operating speed before applying them to jobs
    • Use minimum pressure to hold grinders against work pieces to prevent kickbacks
    • Never bump grinders onto objects or allow them to touch other objects while grinding
    • Keep grinding discs at between 15 and 30 degree angles to work pieces
    • Ensure work pieces are held firmly in position
    • If possible, grind at approximately waist height
    • Adopt a balanced, comfortable stance
    • Never place grinders between legs to use while sitting on floors

    In order to prevent developing hand/ arm vibration syndrome, operators must take short breaks at regular intervals. It is important never to put grinders down before discs have stopped rotating, and disconnect grinders not in use before placing them disc upward onto a secure work surface.

    Work injury claims

    If you were injured at work because you or another operator was not provided with appropriate training or PPE, you may be able to claim industrial injury compensation. Call Accident Advice Helpline or visit their website to learn more.

    Date Published: January 22, 2014

    Author: David Brown

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.

    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.