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Angle grinders injuries prompt warning

 

WorkSafe has called on people to take extra care with power tools after 31 serious workplace injuries have occurred in 12 months.

WorkSafe’s Manufacturing, Logistics and Agriculture Director, Ross Pilkington said angle grinders could cause serious injuries.

'They are incredibly powerful machines as they are designed to be used on metal and can easily cause life-threatening lacerations or, if an attachment breaks, can throw pieces of it into the eyes of the user or others who are nearby.'

In the past two months there have been 11 safety incidents with angle grinders reported to WorkSafe - eight of these resulted in injuries such as severe lacerations to the hands, arms and legs, electrical shocks and fires caused by sparks that landed in rubbish or vehicles.

WorkSafe’s Guidance Note – Safe use of angle grinders provides practical advice on controlling the common hazards when using angle grinders, including ensuring the disc:

  • selected is appropriate for the task. Grinding discs should only be used for grinding, not cutting
  • is designed to fit the specific angle grinder. Using circular saw blades in angle grinders is dangerous
  • is appropriate for the material being worked. Metal cutting attachments are for cutting metal, not for masonry.

Have a look at the Guidance Note to see what changes you can make in the use of angle grinders at your workplace. One change may be to buy angle grinders which have anti-kickback safety clutches and a wheel braking systems.

Watch the Channel 7 news report on angle grinders.

Author: WorkSafe Victoria

Tags: User:Teacher;User:Student;Manufacturing;Using machinery;Causes of OHS incidents;News items