ANGLE GRINDER FATAL ACCIDENT
On a quarry excavator bucket, a welder was doing some maintenance work. He was using an angle grinder fitted with a 230 mm diameter cutting-off wheel to prepare surfaces for welding when the disk disintegrated.
At the time of disintegrated, the fragments penetrated the victim's chest and abdomen. He was rushed to hospital by rescue helicopter but died in the same day.
Initial inspections shows that the grinding machine and cutting disk used by the welder were not compatible and the grinder was not fitted with a wheel guard.
Grinding machines and abrasive wheels should always be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
- Never use grinding wheel power tools without the wheel guard attached to the tool and positioned for maximum safety.
- Always ensure the maximum speed (no-load rpm) marked on the abrasive wheel is greater than the rated speed of the grinder.
- Store and handle abrasive wheels with care and inspect them for cracks before installing. Do not use any wheel that is or may be damaged.
- Do not use grinding wheels that are larger than the maximum recommended size, or worn down wheels from other grinders.
"Risk assessment must be completed for such tasks and must teach to the workers. Some good suppliers (like Dewalt, Hilti, Milwaukee etc) are conducting trainings on their tools including changing of disks and safety inspection prior to use. All workers using tools must be given instructions, training, supervision and information on how to use the tools in a safe and controlled manner."