Abrasive Wheels

An abrasive wheel is 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.

Abrasive Wheels

Tab/Accordion Items

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 assessment, personal protective equipment and hazard analysis 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. Other example safety and health programs are available for employers to download and adapt to their specific conditions. 

Training and Outreach Services

The presentations on machine guarding, hand tools (construction), and personal protective equipment (general industry and construction) can be downloaded and modified to address site-specific conditions and hazards. Other example presentations are available along with pre-recorded webinars which can be accessed at any time. 

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. 

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).

Safety and Health Topics

Related safety and health topics include machinery and machine guardingamputationsnoise, hazard communication, electrical safety and hand and portable powered tools and 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.

Where can I learn more?

Industry Guides

Technical Assistance

Inquiries about workplace safety and health requirements can be submitted to Ask OSH through the online form, by email to ask.osh@labor.nc.gov, or by phone at 919-707-7876.