At Dales Water we take health and safety very seriously and throughout the year provide training to our staff on machinery, plant and general safety procedures.

The most recent course, delivered by HACS training in Harrogate, was for safety during the use of abrasive wheels. Our drilling and maintenance team use angle grinders on a daily basis for cutting casing and grinding pipework so it’s essential they know how to use and maintain an abrasive wheel.

Despite looking like a simple tool, they are one of the main causes of work place accidents in the UK due to wheel breakages that arise due to inexperience, a lack of knowledge or even complacency by the user.

With several drilling jobs in the pipeline that required heavy use of abrasive wheels we decided to put 5 members of staff through a half day training course. The course covered the following:

  • Safety videos specifically on angle grinding
  • Highlighted potential accidents in the workplace involving abrasive wheels
  • Types of abrasive wheels, how to identify wheel markings and how wheels are manufactured
  • Understanding the British Standard Marking System
  • Storage of abrasive wheels and grinders in the workplace and in transport
  • Methods of testing wheels and grinders
  • Blotters, flanges, locknuts, mounting and balancing
  • Abrasive wheel dressing and adjustment of the rest
  • Practical assessments and abrasive wheel and grinder assessment

The course proved extremely useful, with all our staff coming away with new or refreshed knowledge to help avoid any dangerous mistakes in the workplace. Upon completion of the training all the trainees undertook a written and practical assessment; they were then awarded a competence certificate.

As a result of the training all Dales Water staff run through a simple checklist prior to using an abrasive wheel in the workplace which involves the following:

  • Pre-use inspections to ensure equipment is in good order, electrically safe and the appropriate guards are present
  • Select the correct wheel / disc for the task to be undertaken
  • Determine whether the disc is in good order or needs replacing
  • Ensure appropriate personal protective equipment for the task
  • Always ensure a suitable, safe stance is adopted when using an angle grinder

Thanks to HACS training for delivering the course.