027 – $5k Bench Grinder Fine | The 1/8-Inch Rule

In Episode 27 of the OSHA Oops Podcast, safety experts Michael and Rick discuss one company who had a work rest installed on their grinder with too big of a gap, and how much they paid for a non-injury-related citation as a result.

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The Bench Grinder 1/8-Inch Rule

A bench grinder is a machine that uses an abrasive wheel to buff, polish, file, grind or sharpen metal tools and other objects. The bench grinder work rest is an important part of any grinder setup. The adjustable work rest should be kept adjusted to a maximum distance of 1/8-inch from the grinding wheel. This prevents the work from being jammed between the wheel and the work rest, which is a hazard that could potentially cause wheel breakage or pinch point injuries for the user.

According to the OSHA report, the work rest was not 1/8-inch away from the bench grinder. They were fined more than $5k for this violation. 



Bench Grinder Safety

A bench grinder is a versatile tool that can be used for a variety of projects, from shaping and polishing metal to sharpening tools and blades. However, the bench grinder is also one of the most dangerous tools in the workshop. Every year, thousands of people are injured while using bench grinders, and many of these accidents could have been prevented with proper safety precautions. When using a bench grinder, always wear eye protection and gloves, and keep your fingers well away from the spinning wheels. In addition, be sure to use only abrasive materials that are specifically designed for use with bench grinders.

Below is a small clip from our Bench Grinder safety lesson. For access to the full lesson and our entire safety lesson library, give us a call at 800-734-3574.

Personal Protective Equipment

To help minimize the chances of an accident occurring, you should wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when using a bench grinder. PPE may include: 

  • Hard hat
  • Safety glasses or goggles
  • Face shield
  • Close-fitting clothing
  • Non-skid close-toe or steel-toe shoes or boots
  • Hearing protection
  • Apron or other protective clothing
  • Dust mask 
  • Respirator

 If your company needs safety training, along with OSHA defense and many other safety services, please call 1-800-734-3574 for more details.