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Safety Tips

Stay safe while sanding

November 1, 2011

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Belt and disk sanders cause serious skin burns when the rapidly moving abrasive surface touches the body. Because guarding sanders completely is impossible, the National Safety Council suggests workers take the following precautions:

  • Before connecting a portable sander to the power supply, be sure the switch and switch lock are in the “off” position. If not, the sander will start immediately.
  • Be aware of the cord’s location. Keep power-supply cords and extension cords from becoming entangled with the sander’s moving parts. Damaged cords can result in electrical shock.
  • Use widths recommended by the manufacturer for that particular sander.
  • Always keep face and hands clear from moving parts.
  • Never force a portable sander. The sander’s weight applies adequate pressure. Forcing it can cause stalling, overheating and burning of the item.
  • Never lock a portable sander in the “on” position when the nature of a job may require stopping the sander quickly. The rotating disk could become jammed and result in an incident.
  • Be careful to not expose the sander to liquids. Do not use it in damp or wet locations.
  • When adjusting the tracking of the belt on a portable sander, be sure the sander is supported and positioned to avoid accidental contact with the operator or adjacent objects.
  • Do not work with a faulty tracking sander. Discontinue work until the problem is corrected.
  • The work area should be at least 3-4 feet larger than the length of stock being sanded.
  • Use jigs or fixtures to hold the item whenever possible.
  • Always unplug sanders and store after use.

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