Grinder Hand Injury


What Happened?

A maintenance employee cut his hand while using a power operated hand held grinder.  At the time of the incident, the employee was using a 6” hand held  grinder to remove a defect on the weld of a 24” aluminum pipe. He was wearing appropriate PPE (i.e., safety glasses, goggles and a face shield, hard hat, leather gloves and welders jacket). However, while attempting to adjust the grinding wheel guard with the grinder still operating, the backside of the employee’s left hand came in contact with the grinding wheel. Five stitches were required to close the wound.

Contributing Factors

The grinder should have been turned off, unplugged, and allowed to come to a halt prior to adjusting the guard.

What Can We Learn?


The Procedure stated not to adjust the guard while operating the grinding wheel.

A Self Check should have been used to ensure the guard was in proper position prior to the use of the grinder.


Overconfidence made him believe he could adjust the guard without coming in contact with the wheel.

Ask the Right Questions

How does this relate to our work?

Where do we have similar traps?

What Tools can we use to avoid a similar incident?

Was a stop work point missed?