Safety Alert Memo
June 11 2002
The following is a summary of a safety incident that occurred involving a hand held grinder.
ISSUE (S): Hand held grinder guarding and grinder wheel application.
INJURY: Severe laceration of the forearm
· An employee was using a hand held pneumatic grinder to polish a metal table. (Photo # 1)
· The grinding wheel got stuck in a joint of the table and broke off. (Photo # 2)
· The employee was struck and severely lacerated by the broken wheel. (Photo # 3)
· The grinder did not have a guard on it at the time of the injury and no PPE was in use, although PPE may not have prevented this injury.
· Upon investigation it was discovered that the grinding wheel was not the right one for the task being performed.
· Ensure that the correct grinder guards and work rests are in place, used and inspected before each use. The guard for this type of grinder would have a maximum exposure angle of 180 degrees and be located between the operator and the wheel. This would deflect pieces away from the operator
· Provide methods for the inspection of grinding wheels. This includes but is not limited to:
o Visual inspections for cracks, chips, gouges and other damage.
o Verifying that the rated wheel speed is greater than that of the grinder.
o Checking that the grinding wheel hole fits the arbor correctly.
· Ensure that the grinding wheels used are the correct ones for the application.
· Require personal protective equipment when grinding. As a minimum, use safety glasses with side shields and a face shield. Use gloves only when they will not get caught in the grinder. Hearing protection and goggles could be used when the conditions warrant.
NOTE - This was not an NMSU incident. This was provided via email by a safety colleague in Texas. NMSU employees should contact NMSU EH&S (646-3327) if they have questions (comments) on this matter.