This Safe Use of Abrasive Wheels Course is designed to help workers understand the hazards and safe working practices associated with operating abrasive wheels. 

The overall aim is to reduce the risk of harm to workers. 

Every year, workers who use abrasive wheels suffer serious injury and harm to health. 

NOTE: It is recommended that all users of abrasive wheels also undergo practical training by a competent person on the equipment that they will be using. 

Why take this Course?

Case Studies

Lancashire County Council fined over Hand Arm Vibration issues

Case Study 1

What happened?

Lancashire County Council of County Hall, Fishergate, Preston pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 2 (1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 8 of the RIDDOR Regulations 2013. The Council was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,366,78.


Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard that, in February 2019, HSE received a RIDDOR report from Lancashire County Council, relating to the diagnosis of a case of Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVs). 

An improvement notice was served, however, a further ten cases of vibration- related ill-health, unrelated to the RIDDOR report, were uncovered and reported late. Four more reports were also filed, but these were on time.

Hand held grinders - 'Horrific death'

Case Study 2

A steel firm was been fined £150,000 over the death of a worker hit in the mouth by fragments of an "unsafe" grinding disc which exploded.

What happened?

Stuart Stead, 49, from Doncaster, was working at HI Quality Steel Castings Ltd, Sheffield, when he was struck by a shard of metal. Father-of-three Mr Stead died at the scene.

Two colleagues reported hearing a loud bang and saw Mr Stead collapse to the floor. When they ran to his aid they saw the broken visor and part of the disc in Mr Stead's mouth.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the grinding disc "suddenly exploded", catapulting fragments across Mr Stead's work bay.

A shard went through his visor and hit him in the mouth.

'Near misses ignored'

The HSE said the disc was bigger than allowed for an unguarded tool, was attached using "unsafe combinations of parts" and had been running at twice the speed it should have been. The near-misses should have been a big warning flag to the firm that there was a serious risk that a worker could be severely injured or killed."

The Near Misses included:

  1. in 2011 a 230mm diameter disc suffered a blade disintegration and part went through the foundry roof;
  2. a sand disc attached to a grinder using an adaptor shattered and put a hole in a bench and shattered a light fitting 30 feet up;
  3. a disc flew off a grinder, being used by Mr Stead, which was never found;
  4. a cutting disc bounced off the stomach of another worker; and
  5. in the week before the fatality – a lump came off a disc Mr Stead was using and shot down the workshop hitting another worker under the eye.

HSE said despite some initial training in abrasive wheels, employees did not understand rotation speeds of machines versus discs and had free access to a wide variety of them, contributing to the prevalence of unsafe combinations.

The company also failed to monitor disc/grinder use so unsafe practices were not picked up and near miss incidents were not properly investigated. 

HSE comments

After the hearing, HSE inspector Jill Thompson said: 

“The safety of Mr Stead and others was not ensured while using hand-held grinders. If monitoring and supervision had been provided to ensure necessary precautions were followed, this tragic incident would not have happened.

“Employers must make sure that all work involving grinding is assessed for safety to make sure that poor or potentially dangerous practices are removed.”

Who would benefit from this Course?

Everyone who uses or supervises those who work with abrasive wheels has a legal responsibility to manage the associated risks. 

No pre-requisite training is required but experience of using abrasive wheels would be advantageous. 

This certified online training is ideal for people working in positions such as, but not limited to: 

  • Construction 
  • Roofing
  • Engineer 
  • Builder / Floor Layer / Bricklayer 
  • Electrician 
  • Carpenter / Joiner / Fitter 
  • Site / Project Manager 
  • Welder

What shall I expect?

Narrated delivery

The course is presented by Philip Parry GradIOSH using the PCR Global 'Blackboard'.


Each of the seven Modules has a question set at the end which requires a 100% pass before you can move onto the next Module

Immediate certificate

On successful completion you will be able to download your certificate.


We pride ourselves on the support we provide those who trust us with their learning journey. 

At any time during your training you can gain access to technical support for IT or on the subject of Abrasive Wheels itself. 

In the first instance, you can email or call Andrew Collins on: 

e: [email protected]

m: +44 7962 180459

An introduction to your Abrasive Wheels Safety Training Team: 

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome to the course

    • Introduction

    • Downloads Preview: Abrasive Wheels

    • Downloads

  • 2

    Module 1 Background and characteristics of abrasive wheels

    • Module 1

    • Module 1 assessment

  • 3

    Module 2 Mechanical Hazards

    • Module 2

    • Module 2 assessment

  • 4

    Module 3 Non-Mechanical Hazards

    • Module 3

    • Module 3 assessment

  • 5

    Module 4 Selection Inspection and Testing

    • Module 4

    • Module 4 assessment

  • 6

    Module 5 The Grinding Machine

    • Module 5

    • Module 5 assessment

  • 7

    Module 6 Wheel Mounting

    • Module 6

    • Module 6 assessment

  • 8

    Module 7 Guarding

    • Module 7

    • Module 7 assessment


  • What internet browser do I need to run the course?

    We recommend using Chrome or Firefox on a desktop for best results. However, all of the following are compatible: Desktop: - Chrome - Firefox - Safari - Microsoft Edge Mobile: - iOS Safari: 11 and up - Chrome - Samsung Internet NOTE: We DO NOT support Internet Explorer.

  • Do I need any previous training to take this course?

    No. No prior knowledge or training is required.

  • How long will this course take?

    Most people will complete this course in 1hr 30 minutes.

  • Does this course qualify me to remove asbestos?

    No. This is an Asbestos Awareness (Category A) course which teaches you how to recognise asbestos if you encounter it. This course does not qualify you to work on or remove asbestos. If you require Non-licensable work with asbestos including NNLW, please contact us and we can provide this training too.

  • Can the course be tailored to my workplace?

    Yes. At PCR we suggest that courses are tailored. We can use your own asbestos documentation within the presentation, and you can receive your certificate with your company logo on it.

  • Will I get a certificate from my study?

    Yes. Once you pass all the Modules, you will be able to download your certificate immediately.

  • How long will my certificate last?

    The HSE clearly state - "There is no legal requirement to repeat an entire formal awareness refresher training course every 12 months. However some form of refresher should be given, as necessary, to help ensure knowledge of asbestos awareness is maintained." - With this in mind, we have added a 12-month expiry date.

Built by those that do, for those that do.

  • Providing you more

    We have included 3 FREE documents (1) Abrasive Wheels Tool Box Talk (2) HAVS Calculator (HSE) (3) HAVS Poster. These can be annotated to your specific situation - this saves you a great deal of time and effort.

  • Relevant and up to date content

    Our material follows up-to-date guidance. You will not be provided with information that is purely there to 'pad out' the content. We know how busy you are.

  • Competent support

    Your personal Abrasive Wheels Awareness Training Team are here to help before, during and after your training. If you have any queries you will only speak to knowledgeable consultants and trainers.

Further Course Information


This course is intended to furnish you with the knowledge to understand the risks and identify the control measures with regard to abrasive wheels


Most people complete this course in around 1hr 10 minutes.

Certificate Expiry: 

Due to the low cost and speed at which this course can be undertaken, the certificate issued will expire 1 year from the date of successful completion.

For technical support and guidance

Please email [email protected] or call Andrew on +44 (0)7962 180459

Why choose PCR as your training partner?

Our aim is to provide realistic training, with additional content, for less money, and with better support.

We know how busy you are. Our material is not padded out with content you do not need to know.

We are not a faceless organisation. If you want to speak to us, we welcome your call.

Our delivery is our own. We are not providing actors or training developed by someone else and making money off the back of it. This means we can keep the material up-to-date and your costs lower.