Abrasive Wheels

Abrasive Wheels

Hazard Overview

Hazard Overview

What is an abrasive wheel?

A cutting tool consisting of abrasive grains held together by organic or inorganic bonds. Diamond and reinforced wheels are included. Abrasive wheels are commonly found in bench grinders.

What are the hazards associated with abrasive wheels?

Damaged or improperly maintained abrasive wheels can shatter when run at high or excessive speeds resulting in serious injury or death to workers. In addition, improperly guarded or unguarded abrasive wheels can cause serious injury to employee hands and fingers.




What can I do to protect myself?

Conduct a ring test before mounting and beginning to use an abrasive wheel to determine if it has been damaged and is, therefore, unsafe to use. Make sure that work and tongue guards are properly adjusted and wheel guards are in place. Be sure to wear appropriate personal protective equipment, especially eye and face protection and sturdy gloves, when using abrasive wheel equipment.

What resources are available to assist employers?

Safety and Health Programs

This job hazard assessment program can be downloaded and customized to fit an individual workplace. Employers are required to perform a workplace hazard analysis to determine what personal protective equipment is necessary to protect employees from continued exposure to identified hazards.

Training and Outreach Services

The machinery and machine guarding presentation can be downloaded and modified to address site-specific conditions and hazards. 

In addition, the education, training and technical assistance bureau provides free online safety and health training and outreach services (i.e., speaker's bureau requests, safety booths) upon request.  Further, pre-recorded webinars on machine guarding and occupational noise exposure can also be useful.

Lastly, the NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos (including streaming video services) and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC).

A-Z Safety and Health Topics

The A-Z topics pages on machinery and machine guardingamputationsnoise and hand and portable powered tools can provide additional resource information. 

Consultation Services

Lastly, the consultative services bureau provides free and confidential onsite consultation regarding worksite safety and health hazards.




Which standards apply?

OSH has adopted the following standards which are applicable to abrasive wheels in North Carolina. Note: Please also check the standards information and activity webpage to see if there has been any recent or upcoming regulatory activity on this topic. 

General Industry

Maritime Industry, Shipyard Employment

Maritime Industry, Marine Terminals

Construction Industry

Other Applicable Standards

The Which OSHA Standards Apply webpage can also help identify other standards that may be applicable to your worksite.

Learn More

Learn More

Where can I learn more?

Industry Guides

Technical Assistance

If you would like to receive interpretive guidance on this or any other OSH standard or topic, you can submit your questions using the Ask OSH web form, by e-mail to ask.osh@labor.nc.gov or by calling 919-707-7876.