OSHA Grinding Regulations

Grinding wheels can cause severe hand injuries without proper training and guards.
••• A man grinding metal image by Coralie Palmeri from Fotolia.com

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) grinding regulations protect workers who use potentially dangerous grinding equipment from occupational injuries and illnesses. OSHA holds employers responsible for ensuring grinding equipment and protective gear meets OSHA safety standards, and employers who do not keep equipment up to par face citations and penalties.

Machine Power

OSHA regulations require grinding machines to have enough power to maintain a safe grinding speed during use. Each individual grinding machine must have its own power switch to turn it on and off.

Machine Guarding

According to OSHA grinding regulations, grinding machines must have safety guards. A guard must cover the machine's spindle end, flange projections and nut and have secure mounting that keeps it in line with the grinding wheel. Guards must also protect workers from the grinding wheel; workers should only be exposed to 90 degrees (75 percent) or less of the grinding wheel unless more the type of work requires more exposure. If grinding work requires more than 90 degrees of exposure, the maximum exposure amount is 125 degrees.


Before workers use a grinding wheel, OSHA regulations state that it should undergo an inspection to make sure that it does not have any cracks or defects.

Protective Equipment

Employees using grinders must wear goggles or face shields to protect themselves from flying particles, according to OSHA regulations. Workers grinding materials that create dust must wear some form of respiratory protection if dust amounts exceed OSHA limits. Respiratory protection can include respirators or a ventilation system that keeps workers from inhaling the dust. Grinders that create large amounts of dust must also have dust collectors and powered exhausts to keep some of the dust out of the air.


OSHA regulations stipulate that bench and pedestal grinders must have permanent mounting. These grinders must undergo tests before workers mount them to ensure the machinery works safely.

RPM Ratings

Grinder motor maximum RPM ratings must correspond to grinder wheel maximum RPM ratings so that the motor does not rotate a grinder wheel faster than the speed its manufacturer dictates as safe.

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