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OSHA cited Advantage Powder Coating in Defiance, Ohio, for 15 safety violations and fined the company $159,600 after a pedestal grinder operator was killed when the abrasive wheel on the grinder exploded and struck the operator on the head.

Pay attention! This one can bite.

 Two willful violations were cited for pedestal grinder violations:

  • Lack of properly adjusted safety guards;
  • Lack of properly adjusted work rests;

OSHA placed Advantage Powder Coating in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP), which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. Advantage Powder Coating was placed in the program for receiving two willful violations covered under the agency’s National Emphasis Program on Amputations.

Pedestal grinders are a foundational piece of equipment in precision machining shops. It is up to us to assure that the potential hazards that they can present are controlled. Here are four tips from my experience to keep your shop grinders in compliance:

  • Don’t allow wheels to get out of dress.
  • Assure that the proper clearance and no more exists between properly dressed wheel and front tool rests
  • Assure that all grinders have all guards in place. If guards are missing- LOCK IT OUT!
  • Assure that the grinder is mounted to the floor if the pedestal was designed to be bolted to the floor. If no bolt holes are present, then bolting down is not necessary.

The safe use of grinders is a key part of our craft. It is up to us to keep the potential hazards that grinders can present safely controlled by insisting on safe grinder practices and inspections to assure guards are in place and properly adjusted.

Here is the news release

Grinder photo

7 thoughts on “Pedestal Grinders, OSHA, And You

  1. Great reminders… I also find that proper lighting is so often an overlooked aspect of many shop operations.

  2. speakingofprecision says:

    Great point Peter. Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

  3. Ed Rade says:

    This is the most fined safety violation by OSHA. Hence inspectors are 1st and foremost looking at these and similar tools for guard. tool rest and wheel violations. If you are due or suspect an OSHA inspection pedestal/bench tool grinders should be looked at as a number one priority. At times they can be overly critical and demand or site you for missing guards on equipment that absolutely can not be used with the type of guarding they site you for, so don’t be complacent, contact OEM of the item in question and challenge OSHA with documented facts, you can overturn some potentially large dollar violations with some good homework.

  4. speakingofprecision says:

    Thanks for sharing your advice ED!

  5. It is ALWAYS necessary to bolt a pedestal grinder to the floor. The only way it would not be is if the grinder is so massive that it would not move under the most extreme conditions. At the least, vibration will cause it to walk. If there are no mounting holes then make some.

  6. speakingofprecision says:

    Hi Robert. I have seen some massive casting mounted pedestal grinder bases without bolt holes.

    Adding the bolt holes is amodification ofthe original design, and the person doing so then assumes responsibility for the modification, which is why I worded my blog the way that I did.
    The OSHA folks are rather strict constructionists regarding equipment design and modification in terms of liability.
    Thanks for sharing your experience.

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