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Grinding Safety Dos and Don’ts - EHS

Grinding machine Safety Dos and Don’ts
Grinding Safety Dos and Don’ts

Grinding Safety Dos and Don’ts

Safety while grinding work: Most injuries reported during grinding work are cuts to fingers and eye injuries from flying objects such as metal parts or sparks. Grinding is the process of finishing the workpiece to remove sharp edges or maintain surface quality or maintain shape and dimensions. When roughing to quickly remove metal, grinding machines are used with an abrasive or grinding wheel.
There are three main factors viz. the competency of operator, the quality of the grinding wheel and the appropriate PPE which decides the safety during grinding jobs. Most workers (grinders) are unaware of kickback prevention technique and thus cause serious injury due to damage to the grinding wheel or cutting disc. This type of injury from exposure or contact with damaged or fragmented wheel pieces is very serious and can result in fatality.
Appropriate training and awareness of safe use of the grinding machine, the proper way to replace or mount accessories, and the use of proper PPE can help prevent injury. In addition, workers should understand the risk of the grinding machine's kickback reaction when not used properly.
These Dos and Don'ts of grinding safety will help people understand safety precautions when using the grinding machine and avoid kickback reaction.

Grinding Safety Dos and Don’ts

Here are simple but important safety precautions you can find in the form of Dos and Don'ts that will help prevent workplace injuries while grinding jobs.


  1. Inspect the grinding wheel for validity and replace it if any visible defects such as cracks.
  2. Ensure the use of electrically certified grinding machines.
  3. Make sure the rotation of wheel is downwards against the job.
  4. Use only a wheel that is compatible with its speed as stated by the manufacturers on the grinding machine.
  5. Make sure that the wheel speed marked on the wheel is equal to or greater than the maximum speed of the grinder.
  6. Make sure the workpiece is secured in place after any adjustment.
  7. Before starting the grinding wok with a new grinding wheel, run the machine for 1 minute freely.
  8. Electrically isolate the grinder for mounting or replacing the grinding wheel.
  9. Make sure a machine will not run when unattended by checking the dead man's switch.
  10. Make sure the face of the grinding wheel is in contact with the workpiece surface when using the vertical grinder.
  11. Make sure that the entire width of the grinding face of the wheel is in contact with the grinding surface if you are using a horizontal grinder.
  12. Make sure that the grinding face of the grinding wheel is at an angle between 5 and 15 degrees from the grinding surface when using a right-angle grinder.
  13. Discard the abrasive wheel when the shelf life has expired.
  14. Run a wet wheel without load to dry before turning it off.
  15. Make sure the wheel guard is securely in place.
  16. Ensure the wheel guard opening is apposite to the body.
  17. Always perform a function test after each wheel replacement.
  18. Remove all combustible materials near the work area to avoid the risk of fire.
  19. Use appropriate PPE such as leather gloves, face shield, safety Google, apron, hearing protection, etc.
  20. Stay alert and only work when you are medically fit.
  21. Allow the grinding wheel to reach full speed before starting the grinding job.
  22. Maintain a firm grip with the hands, stabilize your body and ensure a comfortable footing to avoid or control rebound forces.
  23. Alert co-worker to stay clear of the wheel when starting the grinders.
  24. Always use the side handle installed on the grinder to hold it firmly.
  25. Make sure the dust collection system is working.
  26. Disconnect the power source when you are finished working and before leaving the machine.


  1. Don’t clean or make any adjustments on a moving grinder.
  2. Don’t adjust work while the grinding wheel is in motion.
  3. Don’t force work against a cold wheel. Apply it gradually.
  4. Don’t overtighten the grinding wheel retaining nut.
  5. Don’t use a worn and expired wheel.
  6. Don’t use a machine with a damaged cord and plug.
  7. Don’t grind materials for which the grinding wheel is not designed.
  8. Don’t allow chipping or hacking on the wheel.
  9. Don’t change the wheel for a larger diameter or a higher speed (peripheral speed higher than the nominal speed)
  10. Don’t hold the machine in such a way that projectiles can strike you.
  11. Don’t wear loose clothing, articles, or jewellery while grinding.
  12. Don’t work on small materials that cannot be secured.
  13. Don’t bring hand near rotating parts to avoid kick-back.
  14. Don’t use a grinder without a wheel guard.
  15. Don’t put the grinder on the ground until the wheel has completely stopped rotating.
  16. Never use cutting disc for grinding work.
  17. Don’t use coolant with portable grinders.
  18. Don’t use an improperly adjusted wheel and only use accessories that are compatible with your grinder.


Grinding work Safety Dos and Don'ts can be shared with workers in a toolbox talk meeting to make them aware about the proper use of the grinder and to ensure safety measures to avoid injury. These safety do's and don'ts can be posted in the workplace to remind workers of the safe uses of grinders and keep them alert.

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