Just like operating any type of high-powered machine, it’s essential to keep health and safety in mind when operating a floor grinding machine. Both handheld and walk-behind concrete grinders are powerful pieces of kit and should be treated as such, whoever is using them. It’s essential to ensure that you are taking all of the necessary precautions when using a floor grinding machine to protect yourself as well as others. Here at Concept Flooring Technology, we always want to make sure our customers are using our machines as they were meant to be – safely. As such, we provide demonstrations for our clients who are unfamiliar with the machines we hire. To help you stay safe when using a floor grinding machine, we’ve created a brief guide on some safety best-practice.

Staying Safe When Using a Floor Grinding Machine

Before Starting Work On The Floor

Before you even start the project you are working on, you need to consider health and safety. The very first step when working on a floor grinding project, especially if you are new to the process, is to familiarise yourself with the floor grinding machine. Inspect the machine to see whether there are any concerning signs of wear or damage. Then thoroughly read the user manual to ensure you know precisely what you are doing. If there is an experienced person on hand, seek advice from them before you start. Starting a project without reading the manual and simply ‘winging it’ can lead to an unsafe environment and, potentially, health and safety issues.

Prepping The Floor For Your Floor Grinding Machine

As well as reading the user manual thoroughly before starting, it’s essential to prepare the floor so that it’s ready for the project. Carrying out a brief survey of the area you are going to grind, look out for any potential hazards. These could include an excessively wet floor which could cause electrical shortages, clutter, any other professionals working in the area, cables trailing along the floor and any areas which may be dimly lit. Before turning any floor grinding machine or floor scabbler on, run a risk assessment on the floor to spot any issues and make provisions to reduce the risks before starting.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Required

Again, before you begin work on any floor grinding project, you must also ensure that you have the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available to protect yourself during work. PPE provides vital protection against the risks associated with working on a construction or property maintenance project. Having access to the correct PPE is essential before any work begins. For floor grinding, a range of PPE is recommended. This protective equipment includes a hard hat, protective grip gloves, ear protectors, safety glasses and robust work boots.

Most importantly, it’s essential to have the correct Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) for grinding and scabbling. The process of grinding creates significant quantities of dust which are damaging to the respiratory system if inhaled. For grinding and floor scabbling, RPE must have an “assigned protection factor of 20”. For longer projects, consider fitted masks or hooded helmets.

Control The Movement Of People Nearby

After you have prepared your space for floor grinding and acquired all of the necessary PPE for the project, control the movement of people nearby. Particularly if you are working in a public place like a school, place barriers around the working area to ensure no one wanders into the area you are working. Protecting children, the elderly and other members of the public from entering your workspace is essential to reduce the risk of any accidents taking place. As well as protecting the public, ensure that no colleagues are around who might be able to distract you during your work. You’ll need to be fully concentrated throughout the work!

Setting Up The Machine and Using It

When you are setting up your floor grinding machine, it’s important to abide by some basic protocol to ensure that good health and safety practices are observed. First and foremost, after you have switched the grinder on, wait until the machine reaches the required speed before lowering it onto the floor. Listen out for any unusual rumbling noises which could indicate an issue. If you hear anything, switch the floor grinder off immediately and seek assistance from a professional before starting it again.

When operating the floor grinding machine, remain a safe distance away ensuring that your hands and feet are away from any moving parts at all times. Don’t try to exceed the recommended speed of the grinder. This will not make your work quicker, it will only place you at risk and wear down the abrasives more quickly. Similarly, don’t attempt to adjust the tilting handles while operating the machinery in an attempt to increase the pressure and get the job done faster. Move the machine in a circular, sything motion and avoid moving backwards. If moving backwards is necessary, always take care not to trip or fall and be aware of your surroundings.

During operation, be aware of the feeling in your hands. If your hands and fingers begin to get numb or tingle, switch the machine off and take a short break. Moreover, always unplug the machine if you are leaving it unattended to reduce any likelihood of accidents taking place. When moving a grinder in circular, sything motions, ensure that you remain balanced and grounded at all times, avoiding any awkward angles and keeping a firm grip on the handles at all times. Always be aware of where the power cable is, ensuring that the grinder does not move over the cable or that the cable will unplug itself during the work.

Plan Ahead

Before beginning any work on a floor, plan your route around the floor with the above best-practices in mind. By planning, you can ensure that you won’t have to move backwards or work at an awkward angle and, therefore, reduce the risk of any accidents taking place.

Seek Advice From The Professionals At Concept Flooring Technology

As part of our service at Concept Flooring Technology, we can help you set up your machine for hire before you use it. Providing demonstrations as well as advice on which floor grinder or scabbler is right for you, we can help you abide by health and safety best practice to protect you and your employees from any potential harm.

Make Sure That The Hire Company For Your Floor Grinder or Floor Scabbler Is Part of The HAE Trade Association

If you’re hiring your floor grinding machine or floor scabbler, you should always seek to hire from an HAE Association company. The Hire Association Europe (HAE) is an industry-leading trade association that represents plant, tool and equipment hire. The body has 800 members and offers its members products and services which helps them improve their services. They also accredit equipment hire organisations to ensure they provide a safe service. Through SafeHire Certification, companies and sole traders hiring equipment must prove competence in safety, health, environment and quality. This provides consumers using HAE associated and SafeHire Certified organisations with the peace of mind that the equipment they are hiring is fit for purpose. As well as SafeHire, HAE also provides its associated members with training and other safety checks to ensure their service is up to scratch. As a consumer, this protection is vital.

Contact Concept Flooring Technology For Floor Grinding Machine Hire

Here at Concept Flooring Technology Ltd, we’re experts when it comes floor grinding machine hire. Based in Buckinghamshire, we rent out a wide range of flooring machinery to our commercial clients across the regions of Buckinghamshire, London, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Hampshire, Essex, Surrey, Kent, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and the West Midlands. We’re also part of the SafeHire Certification Scheme, so you can have peace of mind that any equipment you hire from us is safe for use. If you’ve been looking for floor grinder rental or a hand-held concrete grinder for your commercial flooring, look no further.

Originally founded more than 20 years ago, we have developed a reputation for our high-quality floor grinder rental service as well as our excellent customer service. We’ve worked with countless happy commercial clients and can provide you with all of the advice you need to operate your hired machinery. As experts in concrete flooring, we can help you ensure that your floor remains clean, level and looking great for your clients or visitors.

To find out more about our services, please feel free to contact us today. You can find us at Concept Flooring Technology Ltd, Unit 3. Independent Business Park, Mill Road, Stokenchurch, Bucks, HP14 3TP. Alternatively, call us on 01494 485952 or email us at enquiries@conceptft.com.