Site Safe

Angle Grinder Safety short-course

Ask a Safety Advisor for advice

A short course in Angle Grinder safety has been developed in response to the safety concerns of the construction industry (specifically voiced at the Northern Safety Liaison Group).

Based on interaction and discussions with workers who are regular users of angle grinder equipment there appears to be a definite lack of awareness of the potential consequences of incorrect wheel mounting, matching wheel RPM's to machines and general safe practice.

Course Aims

This short course has been designed to impart the necessary knowledge required by designated persons to safely select, inspect and fit the correct wheel, inspect the Angle Grinder, select the correct PPE and use Angle Grinders on Construction sites.

Course Objectives

On completion of the course trainees will:

1.   Show a good level of understanding of the safe use of Angle Grinders on Construction sites.

2.   Demonstrate the correct mounting procedure of various types of Abrasive and cutting Wheels to enable safe use at all times with due regard to Health and Safety.

3.   Show an awareness of the hazards and risks involved in using Angle grinding and cutting machines.

4.   Inspect tools wheels and ancillary equipment to enable safe use at all times with due regard to Health and Safety.

5.   Understand their own and others responsibilities and be aware of the necessary precautions to comply with the Health & Safety and Employment Act.

Course Details

  • The course is best suited for 15 trainees maximum.
  • The time frame for the course is approx 1.5 hrs plus set up time.
  • Auckland Safety, Health & Environmental Advisor Kevin McKillop has run all the courses to date at standard safety advisory consultancy rates.

Practical Component

Course trials have been run on workers who are regular users of angle grinder equipment to determine the best approach.

A practical component of the course consists of providing four angle grinders of differing sizes which are set up without guards, handles and the various types of disc flanges. The trainees are arranged in small groups and given differing blades/grinding wheels etc and are required to set the machine up correctly. This is a powerful method of demonstrating firstly the general lack of knowledge but most importantly imparting the correct set up of the machine and match for each blade/wheel requirement.


The feedback has been very good. The comment has been made from a health and safety manager "even I learnt something new, doesn't happen all that often these days."

Developments to date:

A course presentation which includes pictures and diagrams of non-maintained tools, shattered cutting discs through to incorrect wheel mounting and diagrams of correct disc and flange mounting has been compiled. Sessions include:

1.  Fatal grinder accident

2.   Learning outcomes

3.   Reasons for angle grinder injuries

4.   Alternatives to using angle grinders

5.   Selecting the correct wheel

6.   Inspecting and fitting the wheel

7.   Pre start checks

8.   Condition of the tool

9.   PPE

10. Operation of the grinder

11. Course evaluation

Courses have been run this year for Fletcher Construction and Dominion Constructors in Auckland.

For more information on Consultancy Based Training click here

Posted:  5 November 2010