What are Abrasive Wheels?

What are abrasive wheels

Nearly half of all accidents involving abrasive wheels are due to an unsafe system of work or operator error.

What are abrasive wheels? Why are they so dangerous? Keep reading to find out.

What are abrasive wheels?

An abrasive wheel is a wheel consisting of abrasive particles bonded together with various substances. Common types of abrasive wheels include portable grinders (disc cutters, angle grinders etc.), bench grinders and pedestal grinders (similar to bench grinders but are mounted on a pedestal).

If they are used incorrectly they can break, so best working practices are essential when operating any equipment which uses an abrasive wheel.

Abrasive Wheels

What are the hazards associated with abrasive wheels?

  • Hazard associated with the use of abrasive wheels include:
  • Contact with the rotating wheel - causing injuries to hands / fingers.
  • Ejected broken parts from a burst wheel – causing impact injuries.
  • Loose chips / particles flying into eyes.
  • Inhalation of dust and fumes generated during grinding.
  • Noise generated by the machines.

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998 places duties on organisations who own, use or operate work equipment. Work equipment covers any machinery, appliance, apparatus, tool or installation which is used at work.

The HSE also has guidance notes in the safe use of abrasive wheels, which you can view here.

In order to be competent to use abrasive wheels safely you should be trained in the hazards, safe working practices and inspection procedures. Due to the high risk nature associated with their use, practical hands-on experience and training is essential.

Abrasive Wheels

Our abrasive wheels refresher online training course provides an overview of the hazards associated with abrasive wheels and the safe ways to dress, mount and use the equipment. This must only be taken if you have previously completed practical abrasive wheel training.

Click here to view more information about the course.