Whilst most people quite rightly wear safety apparel when using power tools, including angle grinders, it’s important to be aware that it isn’t always enough just to rely on what you’re wearing to keep you safe. It also comes down to sensible working practices, and in the case of angle grinders this is particularly evident thanks to one unfortunate phenomenon – kick back.
Kick back occurs in angle grinders, chainsaws and other hand held cutting tools when the tool is pushed directly into something such that it can force its way up and back in the direction of the user’s face or body. No face shield, safety boots or protective gloves will protect against the possible damage this might do, so it’s important to think one step ahead before you begin cutting anything.
The most important thing to do to avoid your angle grinder turning against you is to make sure you’re in a comfortable and safe position. If you’re holding it over your head, or are stood straddling two wobbly scaffold planks then clearly your balance and control over the tool will be compromised, leaving you vulnerable to any erratic movements it might make.
You should also make sure to only ever make a downward cutting motion with the disc, and never to ‘stab’ it directly into the work piece as this could cause it to kick back.
As ever your biggest asset when using an angle grinder is simply to be sensible about how you use it. Never rush a job, plan accordingly, and always think ahead to make sure that your next manoeuvre is a safe one.