Recommended Procedure for Wheels Damaged While in Use

Play it Safe at the Wheel - 100 Years of Abrasives Safety Leadership


Having a wheel crash while it is on a machine can be a rather unsettling event. In fact, it can be downright scary. But knowing what to do in this situation can make it a little less stressful. ANSI B7.1 General Operating Rules provide the following guidelines:


8.4 Wheel breakage (Standard)


A cracked or damaged wheel shall not be used. In the event of a wheel breakage, the wheel manufacturer and the machine supplier shall be notified immediately.


8.4.1 Wheel breakage shall be investigated by the user to determine and correct the cause.


8.4.2 After a wheel breakage, the machine shall immediately be removed from service until it is thoroughly inspected and/or repaired. The inspection shall be made by a qualified person. All of the elements that effect safety such as guards, flanges, spindles, and the operating speed of the machine shall be returned to original condition or replaced before the machine is put back in use.


E8.4 Wheel breakage (Explanatory Information – Not Part of the Standard)


Should an abrasive wheel be broken in service, an investigation must be made immediately by the user to be sure that any conditions at variance with the requirements contained in this Standard and State, Federal, or other laws are corrected. The user should immediately isolate the machine and work area and notify the wheel maker and machine supplier. Corrections of adverse conditions should only be made following a complete investigation and recommendation by all parties concerned. This will help determine the cause of the breakage so that a recurrence of the trouble can be prevented.


If the wheel is not broken, but damaged (i.e. chipped or gouged), Saint-Gobain Abrasives' recommendation is that you return the wheel to its manufacturer for repairs and speed testing. There is no known method at the customer’s location that can guarantee a wheel does not have internal damage. While tests such as visual inspection, ring testing, and allowing the wheel to run at operating speed for one full minute before standing in front of, or in line with, the wheel are good tools, they do not replace proper wheel repair and speed testing. Another option is to discard the damaged wheel. 

An example of a damaged wheel

An example of a damaged wheel


If you need assistance with returning wheels or reviewing proper wheel operating procedures, you can reach out to your local Sales Representative.


When it comes to safety, you cannot afford to be wrong. If you have any doubt about the safety of an abrasive wheel, always err on the side of safety. Do not use a damaged wheel.


For more abrasive wheel safety tips, see our article on the do's and don'ts for handling, storing, and inspecting grinding wheels.


For additional information on this topic or if you need any other abrasive safety information, please review the Norton Product Safety page, ANSI, OSHA, and all literature provided by the abrasive wheel and machine manufacturer. You may also contact the Saint-Gobain Product Safety Department at (508) 795-2317, fax: (508) 795-5120, or contact your Saint-Gobain Abrasives, Inc. representative with any safety related questions.