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Production > Sanders
Sanders finish stock by using a coated abrasive surface to remove material. The figures to the right show the three general types of sanders: drum, belt, and disc. A belt sander uses a system of pulleys to move the abrasive material across the stock. Either the wood is fed manually or automatically into the machine or the sanding belt is pressed toward the wood, which is located on a working table.

Sanders produce a considerable quantity of fine wood dust. Wood dust hazards and controls are discussed in detail in the Wood Dust section. All sanders should be ventilated carefully. The primary safety hazard of belt sanders is that workers may catch their hands, clothing, or jewelry in the in-running rolls. Also, contact with an abrasive surface can cause abrasions and lacerations.
Drum sander
Fig 1 - Drum sander

Belt and disc sander with labeled parts such as point of operation, feed, start/stop push button control and power transmission
Fig 2 - Belt and disc sander



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Point of Operation Top
Potential Hazard:
Possible Solutions:

Engineering Controls
  • Guard feed rolls with a semi-cylindrical guard to prevent the operator's hands from coming in contact with the in-running rolls on automatic sanders. The guard design must allow for adjustment to any thickness of stock [29 CFR 1910.213(p)(1)].

  • Enclose power transmission pulleys with a fixed guard [29 CFR 1910.219].
Work Practices
  • Keep hands away from abrasive surfaces.

  • Sand on the downward-moving side of the disk or belt.
Top


Nip Points Top
Potential Hazard:
  • In-running nip points - Clothing, hands, or hair may get caught by and pulled into the in-running rolls on automatic sanders or sanding belts.
Possible Solutions:

Engineering Controls
  • Guard the unused run of the sanding belt against accidental contact. These guards must prevent the operator's hands or fingers from coming in contact with nip points [29 CFR 1910.219].

  • Enclose power transmission pulleys with a fixed guard [29 CFR 1910.219].
Work Practices
  • Sand on the downward-moving side of the disk or belt.
Top


Flying Chips Top
Potential Hazard:
  • Flying chips - Wood splinters and chips may be thrown from the sanding action.
Possible Solutions:

Engineering Controls
  • Enclose drum and disc sanders with guards, except for the portion of the sander's drum above the table. The guard can consist of a protective cover at the rear side of the wheel and a hinged cover around the wheel periphery [29 CFR 1910.213(p)(2)] and [29 CFR 1910.213(p)(3)].

  • Enclose power transmission pulleys with a fixed guard [29 CFR 1910.219].
Work Practices
  • Replace torn, frayed, or excessively worn belts or drums. A worn-out belt, disk, or drum can cause massive heat buildup, which can cause the belt, disk, or drum to tear or break and pelt the surrounding area with projected bits.
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