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