Most important checks to make before using abrasive wheels
Posted on 18th Apr, 2019 | By Lorretta Tatham
Whatever job you’re working on, the health and safety of yourself, and all those working with you, has to be your number one concern. That’s why health and safety training is the most important training you’ll ever undertake, and you have to know how to approach each job, and each tool, in a safe and correct way. All tools have to be treated with respect, but some can potentially be more dangerous than others. Abrasive wheels fall firmly into the ‘dangerous’ category, as anyone who has ever worked with them knows. That’s why it’s essential to be trained in the correct usage of abrasive wheels, and to carry out essential checks to ensure that they’re in good working order. Here are three of the most important checks to use before using an abrasive wheel.
No matter how pressed for time you are on a job, you must always find time to carry out safety checks for all equipment before putting them into use, and when it comes to abrasive wheels, the initial checks should be visual ones. Before you switch them on, take a close look at the wheel; if it has any chips or cracks, however small, this represents a potential hazard that could have very serious consequences. Never use a damaged abrasive wheel. Also, examine the machine that you are using the wheel with and ensure that the right size of wheel is being used – and that it fits correctly.
Machine and personal safety equipment could be a life saver, so never use a potentially dangerous machine without the correct protection in place. With regards to abrasive wheels, this means that it should have an undamaged safety cover. Using an abrasive wheel will produce sparks and it can also throw debris into the air, so it’s essential that all people using an abrasive wheel, or in the immediate vicinity of one, should wear suitable goggles. Don’t take a risk with your eyesight.
Carry out a test run
Smart workmen know that they should never charge straight into operating an abrasive wheel, even if they have carried out a visual check first. To ensure safe operation, and also to ensure that the wheel works smoothly and effectively, you should always give it a test run of at least a minute; this allows you to spot any imperfections in it whilst it’s spinning, but before it comes into contact with other surfaces, and once warmed up in this way it should be ready to run correctly over the course of a full day. Abrasive wheels can become very hot when in use, so take great care when handling them immediately after their operation has ceased.
To get the most out of an abrasive wheel, both in terms of safety and performance, it’s vital that all operatives undertake basic abrasive wheel training, and it’s wise to regularly refresh this knowledge. Here at Browns Safety Services, we provide half-day Abrasive Wheels Awareness Training courses lasting four hours that can ensure an essential knowledge of the working practices surrounding abrasive wheels – protecting your health and safety, and that of your employees. You can click on the link above, or give us a call on 01282 615517 to book your place.