Silent But Deadly Coasting
Many EHS experts focus their risk assessment on limiting operator exposure to these hazards during a grinding operation but fail to consider the greater context of the operation. One must also consider the time before and after the intended operation. There are two significant exposures to consider:
Bench grinders are notorious for exceedingly long spin-down times of between 2 and 4 minutes. During this time, a well tuned grinder offers few if any auditory or visual cues that it is still spinning. All of the aforementioned hazards are still present during this coast-down time and the risk is multiplied because subsequent operators and other nearby employees are not conscious of the hazard and therefore at greater risk for injury. For this reason, a coasting grinder is considered a point-of-operation hazard under OSHA 1910.212(a)(1) and it must be mitigated with a braking system or additional guard(s).