Right Tool for the Job?

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A chunk of broken grinder disk smashed a worker's faceshield and hit him in the forehead, causing a fatal head injury.

The employee at a metal castings plant had been using an angle grinder to remove slag from metal cast for use as forklift counterweights. He installed a cutoff saw disk on the angle grinder to cut grooves into the slag. He then switched to an air chisel and another grinder to chip and grind away the remaining slag. He repeated this process a number of times during his shift as he cleaned up the newly-cast counterweights.

About 10 hours into the shift, the grinder disk broke and a piece flew into his face. A co-worker heard an unusual sound and came to investigate. He found the victim lying on the ground and bleeding heavily. Emergency medics were not able to revive him, and a medical examiner pronounced him dead at the scene.

This fatality was caused by incorrect use of the angle grinder. The tool was missing a safeguard. The cutoff saw disk installed on it was 4.13 inches (105 millimeters) larger in diameter than the size recommended by the manufacturer, and the ring size was too large for the shaft of the grinder. Are you using the right tool for the job? Today, check to ensure your tools are in good repair and that the correct accessories are being used with them.


This toolbox topic was reviewed by ______________________________________ on ___________________________ with the following employees: