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The Legal Necessity For Abrasive Wheel Training

Jul 1, 2008
Abrasive wheels are used in all manner of industries; to many job roles the abrasive wheel is an essential piece of equipment that is used on a daily basis. They can however be extremely dangerous without effective training. In fact, it is legally defined that all abrasive wheel operators must have had suitable training in order to operate the machinery. Without this training the abrasive wheel has the potential to seriously maim or even kill. Understandably, health and safety officials have determined a minimum set of standards for all that use this equipment.

Training for those who are inexperienced can help to reduce the instances of dangerous handling and operation of abrasive wheel technology. The piece of legislation that directly relates to the use of this equipment is 'The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 or PUWER.

This legal documentation ensures that all employers have a responsibility to provide adequate training for those operating abrasive wheel equipment. In addition, the regulations ensure that nobody who is ill trained to use an abrasive wheel is able to do so. Even if you are self employed these regulations still apply, attempting to create an industry-wide safety stance to ensure the safe use and storage of these pieces of equipment has been the main objective of the legislation.

Training for abrasive wheel use is carried out by many companies all across the country. Preferably you want to find a training centre that has many years experience in the field of abrasive wheel usage; by doing this, you ensure that the instruction either you or your employees receive is top notch. Making sure your employees are trained by knowledgeable and experienced practitioners is the ultimate objective; in addition, all trainers should be legally qualified to carry out training courses.

The abrasive wheel training course will most likely include the following elements, although this is no way an all encompassing list of the issues surrounding wheel use. Firstly the trainer will most likely give pupils information of the features of abrasive wheels and fundamentally how to protect yourself while using the equipment. Also the course should give advice not only how to use the equipment safely but also to make sure that it is maintained in a way that keeps it safe and in good working order.

The course should not however solely focus upon safety aspects. Understandably you want your employees to come back from the course with knowledge of how to use the equipment efficiently, minimising wear of the wheel and maximising the finish you eventually reach. Along with these aspects, the training will naturally touch on the inclusions in the work regulations for this piece of equipment.

The course will not only cover training however, a vital part of your legal responsibilities as an employer is to ensure your employees are suitably qualified. Thankfully the course will normally include an assessment procedure that will give all who attend certification and proof of their eligibility to work with abrasive wheels. Once an inductee has reached this standard they will be able to operate the equipment safely and effectively, normally all trainees will be given an ID card that proves their eligibility to work. It is vital this card is always with them on site to ensure that if a site inspection occurs, you as an employer are covered in terms of any legal aspects.

As previously stated abrasive wheels can be dangerous, but with effective and efficient training you can ensure your employees are suitably qualified to use the equipment safely. As an employer your legal responsibilities today are greater than ever, by ensuring you employees are trained you negate this legal responsibility and ensure that in the eyes of the law your operation is fulfilling all criteria.
About the Author
Industry expert Thomas Pretty looks into the importance of abrasive wheel training to meet legal obligations.
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