When it comes to angle grinders, safety is a top priority. This is an incredibly dangerous power tool but if you follow the proper safety procedures, using an angle grinder is not as dangerous as the tool’s reputation leads you to believe.
In this guide, I will explore all of the proper safety procedures to take when using an angle grinder as well as the possible hazards that can arise if these tools are not used with caution.
How Dangerous Are Angle Grinders?
Angle grinders operate by using a sharp disc to slice through tough structures which is already a safety hazard in and of itself. What makes an angle grinder so dangerous is that this disc is powered to spin at over 2,000 rpm, therefore, you can only imagine the danger that this poses to hands and other body parts.
You obviously don’t want to invest in a machine that can lead to injuries. Also, it doesn’t help that grinders pose a higher risk of injuries when compared to other tools you may have in your house.
It is essential you familiarize yourself with appropriate safety precautions before using a grinder. For added safety and comfort, it is best you opt for a grinder with additional features, such as an eye shield, that will prevent flying debris from penetrating your eyes.
Also, ensure you know how to use the machine properly before actually setting it up. Next, let’s take a more in-depth look at all of the steps to take to ensure angle grinder safety precautions.
How Do You Use a Grinder Safely?
Angle grinder safety relies a lot of angle grinder usage techniques, but it is also crucially important that you have your work area prepared and the proper protective gear for yourself. Remember to take the battery out of the grinder and unplug it when you are changing the wheel or disc.
Ensure the handles are firmly attached to the grinder at all times and you will also want to maintain a firm grip on the grinder to avoid grinder sparks or the vibrations from the tool to cause your hand to slip. If you have purchased a new blade or disc, run it in the grinder in a safe space as this will ensure that you haven’t purchased a defective blade and will reduce the risks of injuries.
If your angle grinder comes with safety guards, always use them no matter how experienced you become because you want to make sure you are always protected just in case of a freak accident. Furthermore, always ensure the blades are spinning away from you when you are using an angle grinder as this will reduce the risk of any possible injury if the blade slips, this can also reduce the possibility of any flammable materials catching on fire near you due to the sparks emitted.
Make sure the workpieces are clamped or secured wherever possible and make sure the power cord is in an even line away from your feet. Furthermore, make sure you allow debris to fall out of the way when you are using a grinder because this can cause clutter on your work station, which can lead to a potential accident.
It is also worth mentioning that you should store all kinds of power-tools away from children. Do not use these tools in front of younger children as they may be tempted to use them without supervision and it may help to store the tools in a safe spot away from the reach of children.
What PPE Should You Wear When Using An Angle Grinder?
Protective clothing is also a major precaution to take in the use of an angle grinder. Remember to protect your eyes and wear safety goggles to shield your eyes from flying sparks and particles. For better protection, consider using a full face shield or visor as this will shield your eyes in case the material shatters.
Gloves offer much-needed protection from sparks and small fragment particles that may shoot from the machine. It is crucial you protect your hands from possible wear and tear, such as abrasions, minor cuts, and scuffs. Gloves offer your hands protection against sharp metal edges, however, this may depend on the thickness of the material used.
Some people prefer not to use gloves since the fabric may be caught in the machine, resulting in an accident, however, this is unlikely to happen if you know how to use the grinder properly and have placed the guard right. If you do plan on wearing gloves, opt for a pair of tight-fitting ones and not the baggy kind so you can hold on to the angle grinder securely.
Safety precautions should also prioritize your ears and it is essential you wear earplugs or earmuffs to prevent the risk of hearing damage. Don’t forget about your feet either, for a better grip to hold yourself steady and better control the speed, consider wearing steel toecap boots or shoes to reduce the risk of tripping.
Use proper insoles to protect your feet in case you accidentally step on sharp objects, such as glass or nails in the worksite. Additional angle grinder safety tips are tips that correspond to all construction projects with power tools: clothing and respiratory protection.
The best clothing to wear for angle grinder safety should be long or padded. Wearing a leather apron or overalls will protect your clothes from sparks as you will need to watch out for sparks falling on your shirt shirts or pockets.
One of the most important angle grinder safety tips is also one of the most universal in construction: protecting your lungs. Consider wearing a dust mask to protect yourself against toxic fumes and dust particles and a dust mask will properly seal and protect your face; these tiny particles can penetrate your lungs, resulting in dangerous lung disorders and might even lead to cancer.
Always use these angle grinder safety tips to ensure you are protecting yourself to the best of your ability. This tool uses a powerful speed repetition and this is to be expected when you are using a grinder for metal or any other thick material.
Angle grinder safety tips are crucial but what are some of the possible hazards that can arise when you use angle grinders?
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Hazards of Grinding?
All work performed with a power tool can be potentially dangerous but this is amplified to a high degree with angle grinders due to the high speed emitted from the sharp disc.
The speed of the disc can cause amputation of fingers, hands, arms, virtually any body part that gets in the way of the grinder or the wheels for grinder rotation. This may sound gruesome but it the complete truth–this tool is incredibly dangerous and is meant to grind and slice through some of the planet’s thickest and most durable materials.
The sparks emitted from the grinding process can also cause minor burns to the body as can the breathing in of dust coming off the material.
What Are Most Angle Grinder Injuries from?
Angle grinders are a tool that uses incredibly high-speed rotations that can cause lacerations or worse injuries to the human body. Most injuries come from the attachments such as the disc and wheel of the tool. The wheel for grinder rotation can frequently cause kickback in addition to the creation of projectiles that emit from the material during the grinding process.
These tiny projectiles are amplified by the high speed of the tool and frequently can cause skin damage.
Angle grinders are a tool that can be very beneficial for construction projects that are also very dangerous if proper protection procedures are not followed during use. Always ensure that you are using the grinder properly and following all of the proper procedures for holding and positioning the grinder the correct way.
Wear the proper protective clothing to ensure that your body is protected to the best of your ability and to prevent any possible malfunction that can come with the grinder.