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Accidents at metalworking lathes using emery cloth

HSE information sheet

Accidents at metalworking lathes using emery cloth

Accidents at metalworking lathes using emery cloth

Engineering Information Sheet No 2

Danger: Even with long strips of cloth there is a danger of trapping as illustrated here

Hazards

A high proportion of all accidents at metalworking lathes involve the use of emery cloth and result in injuries such as broken and, occasionally, amputated fingers.

Emery cloth is used to deburr, polish or size a wide range of cylindrical, tapered and threaded metal components while they are rotating in lathes.

Most accidents happen when each end of a strip of emery cloth is held in separate hands and passed

around the back of the component being linished. If the cloth is wrapped around the fingers and/or becomes snagged on the component while it is tightly gripped, then a serious injury is the likely result. Precautions

Emery cloth should NEVER be used at NC lathes.

Accidents at metalworking lathes using emery cloth

Employers should assess the need to use emery cloth on components rotating in a lathe. Such operations may not be necessary if:

(a) the finish being sought is only cosmetic. For such

finishes the component may be held in one hand and polished by emery cloth held in the other. Alternatively a linishing belt or machine may be used; (b) a sizing operation can be successfully performed

either by turning or by further operations in a

dedicated polishing, linishing or grinding machine. If the required tolerance is only achievable by the use of emery cloth against rotating components, then the emery cloth should be applied using either:

Danger: Emery cloth should never be held loose in the hand

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