Industrial health and safety

Safety information

Mechanical/Physical hazard

Cutting tools and holders may fragment in use.

Metal chips can be very hot with sharp edges and should not be moved by hand. Chips can cause burns to the skin and damage to the eyes.

Make sure the insert and component are correctly secured in their holder before use, to prevent them coming loose during the process operation. Too much overhang can result in vibration and lead to tool damage/breakage.

Always wear appropriate safety equipment at all times and ensure all machine guards and safety interlocks are in place prior and during the operation. DO NOT USE any tool or product that shows signs of damage. Return the product to the appropriate location for repair, replacement or recycling.

Use all appropriate safety guards or machine encapsulations to securely collect particles such as chips or cutting elements that may spin off. Always use appropriate personal protective equipment.

Dust and mist hazard: 
Hardmetal products and tools should not be reground or sharpened without taking appropriate safety measures to contain dust and to prevent exposure to dust (e.g. ventilation and personal protection equipment). Operations such as grinding, cutting, burning and welding of hardmetal products may produce dust or fumes, which can be inhaled, swallowed or come in contact with the skin and eyes. Dust/mist may cause inflammation of the airways and irritate nose, throat, skin and eyes. Repeatedly inhaling high levels of hardmetal dust has been reported in publications to cause hardmetal disease (interstitial lung fibrosis). In a two-year study on rats and mice, inhalation of cobalt was shown to cause cancer.

Sensitizing hazard:
Uncoated hardmetal products may cause an allergic skin reaction as a result of prolonged skin contact with the product. Handle in a way that avoids direct skin contact or use gloves to minimize the risk of an allergic skin reaction when handling hardmetal products and tools. Cobalt and hardmetal are known sensitizers having potential to cause allergy through repeated exposure. A sensitized person could react with asthmatic symptoms or eczema.

Always review and understand the Safety Data Sheet or Safety Information Sheet for the product you are using, before using the product.

Preventive measures:

  • Avoid formation and inhalation of dust. Use adequate local exhaust ventilation to keep personal exposure below the nationally allowed limits.
  • If ventilation is not available or adequate, use nationally approved respirators for the purpose.
  • Avoid skin contact. Wear suitable gloves. Wash skin thoroughly after handling.
  • Use suitable protective clothing. Launder clothing as needed.
  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke in the working area. Wash skin thoroughly before eating, drinking or smoking.
  • Use safety goggles or glasses with side shields when necessary.
  • Always wear appropriate safety equipment.
  • Only operate machinery when all necessary guards, interlocks and other safety devices are in place and functional.
  • DO NOT use or operate damaged tools or products.