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How to safely operate a belt sander

In terms of accidents on construction sites, the threats and potential causes of injuries at work are both many and varied. From the working environment to the tools and machinery involved, workers need to be on high alert at all times.

How can I avoid accidents at work with a belt sander?

One machine with the potential to cause significant damage for builders and construction workers is a belt sander. Whilst this particular machine is enormously beneficial in terms of quickening and easing the workload, care must be taken during its operation.

Key safety tips to help avoid accidents with belt sanders

  • Wearing safety goggles. This limits the likelihood of suffering eye injuries at work. Larger projects may require the worker to wear a face shield.
  • Wearing a dust mask for operations that result in minuscule debris floating around.
  • Checking and double checking that the sander is off before connecting the machine to the power supply. This may seem obvious and basic, but a large number of workplace accidents are caused by carelessness.
  • Ensuring that the sander is fully disconnected from the power supply before changing the belt, adjusting the belt or emptying the dust collector.
  • Regularly inspecting the belts before use and replacing any that are worn or frayed.
  • Ensuring that the sand belts used are the same width as the pulley drum.
  • Keeping hands away from the belt during operation of the machine.
  • Regularly cleaning the machine, paying particularly close attention to clearing dust from the vents and motor.

Injuries at work arising from belt sander accidents usually arise from:

  • Using a sander that is not in a good working condition. Poor exhaust systems and dust collectors are particularly dangerous, as they pose a fire and explosion hazard.
  • Workers exerting too much pressure on a sander whilst it is in motion.
  • Working on stock that is not clamped into place.
  • Workers overreaching and losing their balance.
  • The air vents of the sander being covered.

Employers have a responsibility to ensure that the tools given to staff to work with are in a safe condition so as to avoid accidents with faulty machinery. All mechanical tools should be subject to regular inspections.

If you suffer injuries at work, then calling Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 5659 can set you on your way to receiving the work accident compensation you deserve. We boast over years of experience as a law firm.