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WorkSafe warnings on use of power tools

August 9, 2011

Inspired by shows like The Block and The Renovators, more of us are taking to weekend home renovating and improvements.  

WorkSafe Victoria has called on people to take extra care with power tools after 31 serious workplace injuries have occurred in 12 months.

Angle grinders have been involved in 11 reported incidents over a 2 month period. Eight

of these incidents resulted in injuries such as severe lacerations to the hands, arms and

legs, electrical shocks and fires caused by sparks that landed in rubbish or vehicles.

WorkSafe have issued a Guidance Note Safe Use of Angle Grinders as a result. This

provides practical advice on controlling the common hazards when using angle grinders,

including ensuring the disc:

  • Selected is appropriate for the task. Grinding discs should only be used for grinding,
  • not cutting
  • Is designed to fit the specific angle grinder. Using circular saw blades in angle grinders
  • is dangerous
  • Is appropriate for the material being worked. Metal cutting attachments are for cutting
  • metal, not masonry.

 

WorkSafe recommend that personnel look at the Guidance Note to see what changes can

be made to the use of grinders in their workplace. One change might be to buy angle

grinders which have anti-kickback safety clutches and a wheel braking system.

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