Risk Assessment for Abrasive Wheels

The HSE have stated that nearly half of all accidents involving abrasive wheels are due to an unsafe system of work or operator error.

These accidents can be reduced and hopefully avoided by carrying out a Risk Assessment.

The example below should be used as a basic guide to performing your own assessments.

HSE Guides also state that

There is no substitute for thorough practical training in all aspects of the
mounting and use of abrasive wheels. Any training programme should cover at
least the following:
(a) hazards and risks arising from the use of abrasive wheels and the precautions
to be observed;
(b) methods of marking abrasive wheels with their type, size and maximum
operating speed;
(c) how to store handle and transport abrasive wheels;
(d) how to inspect and test abrasive wheels for damage;
(e) the functions of all the components used with abrasive wheels such as flanges,
blotters, bushes, nuts etc;
(f) how to assemble abrasive wheels correctly to make sure they are properly
balanced and fit to use;
(g) the proper method of dressing an abrasive wheel (removing dulled abrasive or
other material from the cutting surface and/or removing material to correct any
uneven wear of the wheel);
(h) the correct adjustment of the work rest on pedestal or bench grinding
(i) the use of suitable personal protective equipment, for example eye protection

It is recommended that a record of training in the safe mounting of abrasive wheels is kept, showing the trainee’s name and date of training.

Please Note that :- Training courses are offered by many organisations which usually provide a
certificate of attendance, not competence


Activity What is the Hazard? Harm:-Who or what? What are you already doing?
Cuts and other serious injury by shattered or broken blade.Injury to the eyes abrasive and metallic particles.Inhalation of dust from dry grinding operations cutting-off machines.  Operator and nearby workers Only Trained persons are allowed to operate these tools.Blades are to be changed by trained and certified persons only.The Correct blades to be used for the material to be cut.Machine guards are fitted and not removed.PPE to be worn, Goggles and gloves. Face mask where dust inhalation likely.(Eye Protection Mandatory.)

Blade to be checked before and after use.

Fire Operator and nearby workers as well as equipment Trained operators onlySparks to be in direction of clear area, IE no persons or flammable materials.(Ensure all flammable material is removed from cutting areas.)Fire extinguisher available at all times.
Strain, Noise and vibrationRisks where noise created by machine and use of ear protection user may not hear warnings or sirens. Operator and other workers. Read and understand vibration and white finger injuries.Ear Protection Required.Operator takes regular breaks.Advisable to have an assistant to warn operator of sirens or other warnings.