Common angle grinder injuries
Anyone who has used an angle grinder will be familiar with how dangerous they can be. A high-speed rotating disc is used to cut through stone and metal. Angle grinding tools can lead to serious injuries - especially if the tool kicks back unexpectedly during use.
If safety procedures are not followed, or the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is not supplied or used, workers can be serious injured.
Recommended PPE for employees working with or around angle grinders includes:
- steel toe cap boots
- goggles or face mask
- ear defenders and/or earplugs
- protective clothing
Angle grinders are most commonly used on building and construction sites. They are also often used by landscape gardeners, farmworkers, council workers, garage and workshop repairers and the emergency services.
In addition to the hazard posed by the spinning cutting disk, angle grinders produce sparks and flying fragments and grit.
Typical injuries include:
- eye injuries (especially protective eyewear is not worn)
- serious cuts and lacerations to feet, arms, hands, face and neck
- very serious injuries leading to amputation
- RSI, VWF and HAVS from prolonged use
- burns from sparks (especially if used to cut metal)
- hearing loss (angle grinders can produce over 105db even when not cutting)
Even if you feel your injury is minor, you should get medical attention as soon as possible after your accident. Seeking professional medical advice will make sure that your injuries are fully recorded. Any problems can be addressed at the earliest point.
What to do if you have been injured by an angle grinder at work
Medical evidence and the claims process
Seeking medical attention after an accident should be a priority - even if the injury seems relatively minor. A medical professional will provide a diagnosis, offer treatment and refer you if necessary. Your medical appointment will also form part of the medical evidence, which will be very important if you intend to make a compensation claim. Making a claim will be much easier if there are medical records that show:
- When your injuries happened
- That your injuries were caused by the accident
- How the accident has affected any existing injuries
- How injuries could get worse in the future
- What treatment options there are and how much they could cost
To make a successful angle grinder injury claim, it will be necessary to show that your employer did something, or failed to do something, that led to the accident.
Your solicitor will need to prove that your employer was negligent in some way.
Start a file and write a detailed account of everything you can remember.
In addition to a medical report, try and collect as many of the following as possible:
- Photographs of the scene of the accident
- The names and contact details of any witnesses
- CCTV footage
- Photos of the angle grinder and/or other tools involved in the accident
- Details of any PPE and training you were given
Reporting an angle grinding accident
Any work accident involving angle grinders, saws, drills or other power tools should be reported, even if no one was hurt.
If you decide to claim compensation, reporting your accident can make the claims process easier and faster.
Whether you are an employee, contractor or site visitor, the way you report the accident will usually be the same. You should tell your supervisor, the site manager or safety rep about the accident as soon as possible. If you are unable to report the accident, someone else can do it for you. The accident should be entered in the accident book and you should ask for a copy for your records.
Can I make a claim?
If you were injured in the last 3 years and someone else was to blame, you may be able to claim financial compensation.
In many cases, it is easier to make a work accident claim than it is to claim for other types of personal injury. This is because of the principle of 'vicarious liability'.
By law, your employer owes you a duty of care. This duty means that they are liable for any compensation costs in the event that you are injured at work. Vicarious liability means that your employer is liable even if a third party caused your accident.
If you were asked to do something you were not trained for, or you were not given suitable goggles, gloves and other protection, and you were then injured, you may be able to claim even if you think the accident was 'your fault'.
Financial support after a work accident
If you have been injured at work, you may be entitled to claim financial support. Your options include:
- Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Work accident compensation
In some cases, you may also be entitled to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). ESA is available to workers who have made National Insurance contributions in the last two years and is also available if you are self-employed.
What impact will my job status have on a claim for an angle grinding injury?
Contractors, agency workers and employees on zero-hours contracts are all still entitled to claim compensation. How compensation is calculated, and who the claim is made against, however, may vary.
Find out more:
How much can I claim?
The compensation you can claim following an angle grinding accident at work will depend on what injuries or illness you have suffered, and how serious those injuries are.
The final amount will also factor in:
- Any pain, suffering and loss of amenity
- What impact the injury or illness has had on your life and ability to work
- Any financial losses or expenses that were caused by your injuries
The Work Accident Advice Centre online calculator sets out what you can claim for, and how much compensation you could claim.
No win, no fee
Legal aid is not available when claiming compensation from an employer. Instead, a compensation claim can be made through a solicitor under a No Win, No Fee agreement.
Under a No Win, No Fee agreement, you pay nothing upfront and nothing at all if you don't win your claim.
If you do win, your solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation after you receive it. Under a No Win, No Fee agreement, a solicitor will receive a success fee of up to 25% of a claimant's compensation.
Compensation awards are, however, increased for claimants on a No Win, No Fee agreement in order to reduce the impact of the success fee.
Our work injury advisors will:
- Offer free, impartial advice
- Explain how No Win, No Fee works
- Recommend the right solicitor