After grinding a piece of steel on an offhand grinder, an employee turned off the machine and tried to stop the wheel with a piece of scrap steel. His hand slipped and hit the rotating abrasive wheel, amputating the tip of his left middle finger.
Grinding machines | Safeguarding for Specific Types of Machinery
Grinding machines primarily alter the size, shape, and surface finish of metal by placing a workpiece against a rotating abrasive surface or wheel. Grinding machines may also be used for grinding glass, ceramics, plastics, and rubber. Examples of grinding machines include abrasive belt machines, abrasive cutoff machines, cylindrical grinders, centerless grinders, gear grinders, internal grinders, lapping machines, offhand grinders, surface grinders, swing frame grinders, and thread grinders.
Amputation injuries occur when the operator’s hands enter the point of operation during the following activities:
§ Grinding on the side of the wheel not designed for grinding.
§ Using an inadequately guarded grinding wheel.
§ Using an incorrectly adjusted or missing work rest or a poorly maintained or unbalanced abrasive wheel.
§ Wedging a tool between the work rest and the abrasive wheel, causing the wheel to break into flying particles.
§ Adjusting the work rest, balancing the wheel, cleaning the area around the abrasive wheel, attempting to stop a rotating abrasive wheel by hand, and loading and unloading parts or measuring parts while the abrasive wheel is still rotating.
You can help prevent worker accidents and injuries by using guards and other engineering controls. Here are some examples:
§ Install safety guards that cover the spindle end, nut, and flange projections or otherwise ensure adequate operator protection.
§ Install adjustable and rigid work rests on offhand grinding machines.
§ Install guards on foot-operated controls to prevent accidental activation.
§ Instruct operators to use hand tools to maintain a safe distance between the operator and the point of operation when needed.
Work practices and administrative controls also are important. Here are some recommended ways to safeguard grinding machines by using the following controls:
§ Develop and implement safe work practices for grinding machine operations and conduct periodic inspections to ensure compliance.
§ Ensure that all operators receive appropriate on-the-job training and supervision until they can work safely on their own.
§ Instruct operators to inspect the grinding wheel to ensure that it is not defective, unbalanced, loose, or too small.
§ Instruct operators to inspect the point of operation guard and to adjust it if necessary prior to each use.
§ Instruct operators to adjust the work rest to within 1/8 inch from the wheel.
§ Instruct employees not to wear gloves, jewelry, or loose-fitting clothing while operating grinding machines and to secure long hair in a net or cap.
§ Instruct employees to keep their hands as far away as possible from the point of operation while feeding work into an offhand grinder.
§ Instruct employees not to adjust the guard or clean the grinding machine while the abrasive wheel is still rotating.
§ Instruct employees to perform servicing and maintenance activities under an energy control program in §1910.147.
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