When you are using an angle grinder, you are basically holding a dangerous tool with a blade which is spinning at a high motion and able to cut metal or other strong objects. So basically you are not safe from it until you are turning it off.
So what you will you do? Will you keep it off all the time? No, obviously not. Tools are dangerous if you don’t know how to use those safely. If you follow the angle grinder safety guides, you are comparatively safe from the dangerous sides of the tool and you can perform your work properly.
Angle grinders have sharp blades, spread sparks when cutting metal and dust when cutting concrete. These are heavy to work for a long time. These sides of angle grinders may harm you. So while you are preparing yourself for performing any work using an angle grinder, get some safety gears and preparations. Some angle grinder safety steps are given below for you.
Angle Grinder Safety Rules
1. Don’t let your tool to make you fool: Before using any tool, it is always recommended to become familiar with that tool. Tools are very dangerous if you don’t have enough knowledge about those. If you start working with a tool without knowing much about that tool, any kind of accident might happen at any time for a little bit misuse.
If you are new in working with an angle grinder, before starting to use, you have to read the user manual for having a rough idea of the tool. Find someone who has used this already so that you can take help from him. Watch carefully how they hold and cut with the tool. If you are a regular user, you may have already done those.
I will recommend you to check the tool before starting your cutting or grinding operation. Otherwise, if there is any defect in your tool, you might face a dangerous accident. Check that the blade is sharp, on-off switch is off, the wire is not ripped, the wire is plugged in properly, etc. Before starting to cut, turn on the tool and check if the wheel is running properly.
2. Leave the right job to the right disk: One of the angle grinder safety rules is using the right disk. Angle grinder is a versatile tool. For this versatile range of operation, there is obviously variety of disks. Use the right disks for your job. Hercules can hold the sky but I can’t, this is the truth. In the same way, metal grinding wheels can’t cut stones. If you try, the wheel will be broken.
Metal grinding wheels are manufactured for cutting metal, stones and other hard objects are cut by using diamond blades, wire cup brushes are made for cleaning flat wide metal surface, wire wheels are used to clean tight places. Use the right disk needed for the job. Otherwise, you will face difficulty while performing the work.
For example- cup brushes and wire wheels with crimped wire are mainly for light duty cleaning works and those with knotted wire are for heavy duty cleaning. If you use the crimped ones in heavy-duty cleaning operation, you will face small wires coming towards you being broken from the wheel. In the same way, if you use knotted ones in light-duty cleaning operations, you will be ended up with a huge amount of metal scratches on the object.
3. I haven’t forgotten about safety gadgets, you shouldn’t too: To operate angle grinder you will need some angle grinder safety gadgets which should be installed in the grinder as well as your body.
Some safety gadgets which are needed to be adjusted with your tool are- grinding guards are for keeping you safe from the sparks spread by cutting metal, dust guards are for preventing the dust to be spread and collecting those, side handle are for reducing vibration as well as let you handle the tool easily and comfortably etc. Most of the times you will find some of the equipment come with the tool.
The protective equipment that the operator should use is called Personal Protective Equipment. Eye protector is a must for saving your eyes from injury, face shields are recommended if you are concerned about your face too, earplugs and earmuffs are hearing protection for saving your ears from continuous excess sound, gloves are for keeping your hands safe from sparks. Wearing medical apron is recommended for additional safety. All these protective equipment will keep you safe from the accidents.
4. Don’t let the kickback kick you: Angle grinder kickback refers to an incident where the grinder faces any barrier in the workpiece and it thrusts back from the workpiece to the operator at a certain speed because of the momentum. It can cause a dangerous accident if the operator can’t control the tool.
Nowadays many angle grinders come with kickback prevention. Still, I recommend being careful about kickback because many people say nothing can prevent kickback if there is a jam. When you will feel that the grinder just becomes stuck with something in the middle of cutting, just turn the switch off as soon as possible. If the grinder with the rotating wheel kicks back toward you, it is more dangerous than a stopped wheel. So leave the paddle switch as soon as possible.
Having the extra handle installed with the tool and holding the tool with both hands will let you control the tool easily when kickback happens. Holding the object which you are cutting with one hand and holding the grinder in the other hand is dangerous. If your workpiece moves, clamp it.
Another thing you can do is don’t position yourself directly in front of the grinder. Hold the grinder by the side of your body so that when kickback happens, you can be sure that you are not in the way of it. Working in this position seems a little bit tough as I think, but safety first. If you work in this position, I hope you will be comfortable with it within a few days.
Most common protections are cutting slowly and carefully, using a face mask if you can and using proper sized wheel guards.
5. Other angle grinder safety tidbits: Those of the above are some major angle grinder safety issues. But there are so many more safety tidbits while you have to follow to keep yourself safe from any kind of accidents. Let’s take a look over those-
a. Hold the tool properly and according to your comfort. Use the safety handle to hold the tool with both hands.
b. Keep the object in such a position so that the object doesn’t move. If the object moves, the tool might slip and you might lose control over that. Thus accidents can happen.
c. Keep the cutting object in such a way so that you can cut it from a comfortable position. If you cut sitting or standing in an uncomfortable position, your cutting might be hampered.
d. Check the safety gears adjusted with the tool properly. If not attached properly, the safety gears might turn into dangerous gears.
e. After starting, run the tool for a few seconds to check if the wheel is running properly. If it runs smoothly, start working.
f. Keep the grinder a bit far from your body. Not so far or not so close.
g. After switching off, hold the angle grinder until the wheel doesn’t stop. Otherwise, accidents might take place.
h. Don’t use much pressure on the tool while cutting. Be patient and cut slowly. Otherwise, the wheel might be broken.
i. Avoid loose cloth, gloves and keep your long hair tied. Otherwise, those might be caught by the grinder and cause serious injury.
j. To avoid accidents, disconnect the plug from the power source after using as well as making any change of the tool like changing disks or adjusting guard.
k. Always check that the accessories are adjusted with the tool are maintaining the minimum requirement provided by the manufacturer. Because manufacturers recommend the best accessories for the tool.
l. Use the proper wheel guard so that it keeps you safe from sparks, dust and broken pieces of the wheel.
Using equipment and being aware to be safe is smartness, not weakness. Maintain the safety rules for your own self and closer ones. Otherwise different accidents might happen. Angle grinder is a dangerous tool if you don’t use it in a proper way and take safety measures. So be aware, be safe, be happy.
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