If you visit a welding shop, there’s a good chance you will find a few different types of grinders. For example, a right-angle grinder is used for cleaning, buffing, blending, grinding, and cutting metal. About 80% of a professional welder’s time is spent getting the material prepped and ready. There’s no question that much of the prep work involves using the grinder.
Because the grinder is such a common tool in the welder’s workshop, many welders become compliant. This results in them putting their guards down and the handle. Along with minimal safety features on the grinder itself, the use of proper PPE (personal protection equipment) is commonly ignored or forgotten. Because of this, several safety violations tend to occur – often.
Keep reading to learn more about grinder safety and how to avoid accidents in the workshop.
What to Do Before Using a Grinder
Before you turn the tool on, you need to consider a few things. For example, is the tool safe to use in its current state? Does it have the needed safety features attached, which include the handle guard? Are there cracks anywhere in the housing? Is the cord intact and in good condition?
You must check each of these things before turning the grinder on or plugging it in.
The Right Wheel for Your Needs
Once you have checked to ensure that everything is safe to use, you need to make sure you have the right wheel in place for the application and material you are using. Make sure you don’t cut with a grinding wheel and that you don’t grind with a cut-off wheel. This is not what the wheel was designed for.
It’s also important to ensure that the wheel is properly rated for the material you are grinding. For example, using a wheel designed to be used with steel on aluminum can cause a clog and make it unbalanced. This means the wheel may separate while it is being used.
You should also find out if the wheel on your grinder is rated for the RPMs that the grinder can generate. Just because the wheel fits on the arbor, it doesn’t mean you should put it there. Be sure to look at the label on the wheel you plan to use and the grinder to ensure they match up.
Proper and Safe Use
Along with the factors mentioned above, you need to ensure you use the type of wheel you have the way it was initially designed to be used. There are several options to choose from, and knowing the difference is essential to ensure proper and safe use of your grinder.
As you can see from the information here, using a grinder in a welding shop requires careful consideration of safety and proper use. Using the tips above, you can feel confident that you, and everyone else in the workshop, will remain safe and injury-free while working with or around a grinding wheel.