There are few disciplines in the construction industry more dangerous than working with abrasive wheels. Whether they’re on handheld or fixed workshop equipment, these powerful pieces of machinery pose serious hazards and risks, and should only ever be used by trained professionals who have full knowledge of the relevant procedures to avoid injury and damage.
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER 98) places a duty of care on all those who operate abrasive wheel equipment – such as angle grinders, petrol cut off saws, battery or electrical powered saws, mitre saws and bench grinders – to ensure their health and safety. Accidentally touching abrasive wheels, which can rotate at speeds of up to 15,000 rpm, could seriously deform or even break the human body.
When used incorrectly, abrasive wheels can create sparks that cause skin burns. They can also eject materials at high speed, which could catch or pull in anything in their path – such as clothing like sleeves or ties. In addition, they can overheat and burst – a dangerous event that could be fatal for anyone in its vicinity.
PUWER training is essential for anyone who uses these tools, because it helps them to understand their legal responsibilities and minimise any risks. It’s also a great way to boost employee confidence and competence, while helping employers fulfil their legal obligations and avoiding fines and penalties. Abrasive Wheels Training