An angle grinder is a versatile tool. It is widely used in different works such as grinding, cutting, polishing, woodcarving, etc. The popularity of an angle grinder is common, but angle grinder accidents are even more common. Nowadays, angle grinder hazards are becoming a significant risk for people because they don’t maintain the inevitable safety factors. You can buy the best angle grinder with lots of features, but without proper safety, they are useless.
An angle grinder is a high-speed and powerful tool. It can cut out hard metals comfortably. Though a grinder’s power and speed are of great use for this tool’s hard work, sometimes its power and speed worsen things when the operator cannot control it properly or doesn’t follow the safety precautions. Electric Counselor is going to describe 10 types of angle grinder accidents and the ways to avoid them.
Changing wheels is not the only safety factor, but using the correct attachments, using the tool correctly, and wearing all the safety gadgets while working with an angle grinder are the prime demands to avoid angle grinder accidents.
If you don’t correctly use an angle grinder, you may face a variety of injuries as follows:
- Skin cut and burns
- Eye injuries
- Foot and leg injuries
- Head injuries
- Mutilation of fingers
- Some other significant injuries too.
Shattering of the discs, flying abrasive and metallic particles, ejected materials and contact with the high-speed rotating disc, and contact with the disc when it is too hot after constant frictions with metal are the main reasons for angle grinder accidents. Let’s talk in detail.
10 Types of Angle Grinder Accidents
1. Contact with the disc
Angle grinders are designed to cut through stone, concrete and other hard materials. So, it will not bother an angle grinder much cutting through human skin, flesh and bones. This tool’s high speed is always a treat for those who don’t follow the safety precautions strictly and are not an expert on handling angle grinders properly.
2. Disc brakes
One of the prime reasons for the angle grinder accidents is disc brakes. This angle grinder hazard can be proved very dangerous when the debris goes flying and hits the sensitive part of our body, such as the face, chest etc., because of the speed at which this tool rotates.
Some reasons can be identified as the major causes of this type of accident. Unsuitable mounted position of the disc and wrong disc type can be responsible for disc brakes. Moreover, using a disc that is out of its expiry date, operating a disc that exceeds its speed limitations, and the wrong type of disc for an unsuitable project are also responsible for disc brakes.
Using the diamond discs can solve this problem mostly because these discs have less probability of shattering while you are grinding or cutting some heavy metals.
Previously, I’ve mentioned ‘using the wrong disc for the wrong projects.’ Here I’m going to discuss in detail about this. Because of this unsynced situation between ‘disc and task’ causes one of the most notorious angle grinder accidents,’ Kickback.’ If we don’t consider the negative consequences, Kickback is not a significant problem on its own. Let me explain.
Kickback is when the angle grinder jams on the materials that it is cutting. This happens because of choosing the wrong disc for the wrong project. There are some other reasons too. Such as, running an angle grinder at the wrong speed and not holding the tool well, badly disc set etc. Sometimes Kickback is the reason for fatal angle grinder hazards. The prime reason for the accidents is losing control of the angle grinder due to Kickback. Well! The veteran knows how to control the angle grinder during Kickback, but the amateur doesn’t.
Getting trained in mounting discs, wearing PPE, hand gloves, goggles, and foot and hand protection are recommended while using angle grinders.
4. Contact with flying particles
One of the many angle grinder accidents is severe injury due to flying particles. This angle grinder hazard can happen when the grinder’s disc brakes and metal cutting and grinding.
You cannot entirely stop this accident. But you can minimize this accident. You can reduce this accident using the right disc, angle grinder attachments, and settings.
Also, wearing PPE, goggles, and hand and leg protections are the way that helps you to keep safe from flying particles.
5. Loose Clothing/articles/hair
Many angle grinder accidents statistics show that sometimes we are the reason for many angle grinder hazards. If you maintain the safety factors while operating an angle grinder, it can be helpful to save you from different kinds of angle grinder hazards. But if you don’t be careful about your clothes, articles, and long hair (if you have), those can be dangerous because the high-speed rotating disc can catch loose clothes, long hair, and pieces like necklaces. Also, clothes with long sleeves and clothing such as ties can get drawn by the rotating wheel and create an entanglement.
So, be careful with the loose clothes or articles while operating an angle grinder. Also, clean the grinding or cutting area from rags and waste as the rotating wheel can draw them too.
6. Angle grinder accidents from Sparks
When you use an angle grinder on metals, you will produce sparks. You can not stop this. Because when an angle grinder’s wheel rotates and connects with metal, it creates a lot of friction. You cannot stop this, so you must ensure that your work environment is neat and clean from any flammable substances around you.
Sparks are the most visible threat when you use an angle grinder. But only when there is flammable or explosive material around it. But if no flammable substances exist, the sparks cannot be too dangerous because the material particles take very little time to cool down. And they cannot cause any real damage if they fall on your clothing or skin. But this doesn’t mean that these sparks are harmless. They can be painful if they catch your sensitive skin, such as your face and eyes.
People always ask a question from us. Can the sparks from an angle grinder form a fire?
The answer is no. They are not that much hot to start a fire. But it can be dangerous if the sparks continuously reach any flammable materials.
7. Remove disc guard
Some users remove the disc guard to feel comfortable when working on some projects. You should remember that this disc guard is there to protect you and help avoid angle grinder accidents.
Also, you must ensure that this disc guard is in the proper position. Here’ proper position’ means this guard should protect you from the sparks and debris thrown by the angle grinder while grinding, cutting, or polishing.
8. Appropriate body language
It’s no surprise that the users must fight recoil while operating an angle grinder because of its speed and torque. However, many modern-day angle grinders have done impressively to reduce that recoil. But still, problems like ‘Kickback’ exist and can make an angle grinder go uncontrolled. So, the operators must choose appropriate body language to avoid the angle grinder hitting themselves if the tool creates an unexpected move.
Having great control over the angle grinder as well as your own body can save you from different kinds of angle grinder hazards.
9. Electric shock hazard
There are both corded and cordless angle grinders. Since a battery powers the cordless angle grinders, they cannot be harmful in the case of electricity. Still, you need to be careful with corded angle grinders as an electric outlet powers them.
To avoid this angle grinder accident, always check the tool before using it. And do testing periodically if the cable or the tool is entirely ok from any leakage current. Make sure you always keep the cable away from the rotating disc.
10. Lack of training
It’s better to be safe than sorry. And proper training can keep you safe from different angle grinder accidents. Many angle grinder hazards happen because the amateurs don’t bother to have adequate training before operating dangerous tools such as angle grinders, electric drills, etc. Always remember your training and experience can save you from fatal injuries.
Some must-follow safety precautions
The angle grinder accidents that I have discussed till now are terrifying. But there is good news too. If you follow some easy but essential safety precautions, you can lessen the probability of getting injured. Let’s talk in detail.
1. Use both hands
I know you have already understood what I want to mean. You should never try to hold the workpiece with a hand and the grinder with another. Many angle grinder accidents statistics show that it is the primary reason for amputation of fingers.
2. Wear goggles
I know it’s annoying to wear goggles. And we don’t want to bother ourselves by wearing goggles when we intend to work for just a few minutes. But trust me, there is no loss to being safe when it doesn’t take much from you.
3. Check and re-check the disc
I hope you remember how we described how dangerous disc brakes and flying particles could be. These flying particles and discs brake are responsible for most of the deadly angle grinder accidents. It takes only a few moments to check if the disc has cracks or brakes on it. But your checking can save you from facing some fatal angle grinder hazards. So, be very cautious to check and re-check the grinder disc before you fire up the angle grinder.
4. Don’t get too closer while using the angle grinder
This is a prevalent mistake by the amateurs. Don’t get yourself too close while you are grinding, cutting, or polishing something with the angle grinder. This can be an inexcusable mistake and it will face one of the terrifying angle grinder accidents. If the disc brakes or a burst of sparks come out while you are close to the rotating disc, I’m afraid I cannot describe the consequence.
5. Safety guards
Never dare to remove or displace the safety guards. These safety are there to save you from the debris and shattered abrasive discs. So, they have a reason to be there, and it’s an important reason.
Here I have described all the possible angle grinder accidents and some essential safety factors by which you can maintain proper safety regarding the angle grinders.
Some more issues don’t look dangerous, but they can be responsible for damaging your health in the long term.
Always try to use leather gloves to reduce an angle grinder’s vibration. Because, in long-term use, this vibration can cause a health problem named ‘Hand-arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).’
If you have ever used an angle grinder, you already know this tool makes noise. So, to protect your ears, use ear protective devices.
Always be careful of angle grinder accidents and take care.
3 thoughts on “10 Types of Angle Grinder Accidents And The Ways to Avoid Them”
Such an informative post from Electric Counselor. Reall appreciate it. Thank you!
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