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How to safely operate a grinding machine

Many jobs involve using machinery of some sort, particularly those where workers are based in warehouses or factories. For example, a grinding machine (or a grinder, to give it its alternative name) is fitted with an abrasive grinding wheel to help shape all kinds of items. There are lots of different grinding machines, too, such as bench grinders, belt grinders, surface grinders, and a jig grinder. Often, they are used to cut or shape metal.

But as with all machinery, a grinding machine can potentially be quite dangerous to use if the operator does not take proper care. Here, we will look at some of the key elements to bear in mind for anyone who uses these machines at work.

Safe use of a grinding machine

If you use one of these at work, or you are about to start a job that will require you to operate one, here are some crucial tips to bear in mind:

  • Make sure you have proper training in how to use one
  • Perform a safety inspection of the machine prior to every use
  • Choose the correct grinding wheel for the job you need to complete
  • Always switch off the machinery prior to changing grinding wheels, or performing any other similar tasks or adjustments
  • If the machine is not working correctly, do not use it – instead, seek a qualified engineer to fix it
  • Always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment, to ensure you are at minimum risk of suffering any injuries

If one or more of these elements are not followed, the odds of suffering an injury while operating a grinding machine go up significantly. Injuries could also be severe and even life changing, in some cases.

What injuries could you potentially suffer while using a grinding machine?

A grinding machine has the potential to cause some serious injuries. Here are just some of the possibilities that could happen, but this list is by no means exhaustive:

  • Finger injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Severed digits
  • Facial injuries
  • Head injuries

As you can see, some of the injuries mentioned here can be very serious. The loss of one or more fingers would be life changing, and may prevent you from returning to work. Additionally, facial and head injuries have the potential to be fatal.

It is also worth noting there is the potential for people nearby to be hurt if something goes wrong while someone is using a grinding machine. A report on using angle grinders alone came up with over 15 pointers to remember regarding health and safety using these machines, and many are applicable to all instances of using a grinding machine.

Have you already been injured and you think it was someone else’s fault?

Your employer has a duty of care to look after you and all other employees in the workplace. They must take reasonable care to ensure you are not at risk of suffering an injury, or falling ill, because of the work you do. One way of doing this is to perform risk assessments on all required tasks, to ensure they identify potential hazards and take steps to reduce the risks those hazards pose.

It is also worth mentioning the importance of having access to first aid equipment, as this could make all the difference between treating any wounds or injuries suffered at the scene, and needing to wait until proper medical care is sought. In cases where heavy bleeding is experienced, first aid can prevent a major loss of blood, and possibly even prevent loss of life in the case of serious injuries caused by a grinding machine.

How much might a compensation award amount to?

This is a difficult question to answer, because various elements must be considered if you are to find out what may apply in your situation. We have listed some of the things to consider below:

  • What type of injury did you receive?
  • Which part(s) of the body was/were affected?
  • How serious were the injuries?
  • What medical treatment did you require?
  • How long were you off work for?
  • What were the resulting psychological and emotional consequences?
  • What is your prognosis for recovery?

As you can see, while you might be able to get a rough idea of the amount of compensation that could potentially be paid, you will only get a more accurate idea if you speak with a personal injury lawyer. This is the best way to ensure you get all the information you need. Make sure you have all the details of what happened and when, and how it happened, because these will come in very useful.

So, regardless of whether you had minor injuries or more serious ones, and whether you received first aid or not, getting more information from a personal injury lawyer would be the next step once you have received medical treatment and are recovering.

Find the answers you are looking for with our no-obligation advice service

If you have suffered an injury involving a grinding machine, you’ll want to know whether compensation is a possibility. If so, you are just one call away from getting some answers. Accident Advice Helpline has been helping injured people for over 16 years, so we have the expertise required to make sure we can help.

Call our team now on 0800 689 5659. Whichever method you use, you are never far from getting some essential answers so you know whether you could make a claim before moving on. If you’ve lost income because of your accident, or suffered mental and physical distress that has impacted your life, you could have grounds to make a no win no fee claim. By contacting us about your grinding machine accident, you have a chance to see whether a claim would work out. We’ll support you through a no win no fee claim if you do have a case, so get the advice you have been looking for now.