Using Your Core Drill

It would be almost impossible to outline all operating and safety procedures to suit all drills on all work sites in all conditions. However, here are a range of factors you need to be aware of when using core drills. These guidelines are not exhaustive. If in doubt on any issues, contact your site supervisor, the drill manufacturer, the barrel manufacturer or your local Occupational Health and Safety Commission.

Preparation:

- Identify onsite hazards and plan to control the risks they present
 - Have a plan of what you are going to drill.  Is there any rebar, sewer lines,  electrical lines or gas lines where you will be drilling? Check again you are drilling in the right spot.
 - If stressed components or components affecting the integrity of a building are damaged during drilling, operators can be at serious risk
  - Ensure you have selected the right sized core barrel that suits the material you are drilling, the type of machine you are using and it's horsepower, and selected the right speed. For operator safety, most manufacturers recommend drilling over 67mm be done with the drill mounted in a stand. If in doubt, contact the saw or blade manufacturers.
 - Check the core barrel for any damage from transport, or from the last time it was used
 - Make sure the drill is in correct working order (with all safety guards, RCD etc in place), and will be safely operated by trained users
 - Check all electrical cords and plugs and protect them from water. Test the RCD.
 -  Waterproof grease on the drill spindle thread will make bit changing easier
 - Make sure the drill has adequate clean water running before turning on the motor. Otherwise the water jacket seals on the drill can overheat, which will cause them to leak.
 - Ensure adequate ventilation is allowed for petrol powered drills like the Golz KB350
 - Ensure adequate collection of slurry as per local legislation
 - Ensure the user is wearing appropriate personal protective equipment eg hearing protection, safety eye wear, dust mask etc
 - Ensure adequate lighting
 - Have a fire extinguisher and first aid kit nearby
 - Plan for the removal of debris and rubble
 - Beware of sun damage to the operator

Positioning:

 - Properly support and clamp the material being cut if necessary e.g. concrete pipe, to prevent movement while working
 - Make sure there is an exclusion area around the cutting area adequate to keep other workers, general public and animals safe.
 - Never work off ladders, crates, drums or chairs. Always use proper access equipment if the work cannot be reached from the ground
 - Be aware concrete and masonry cutting and drilling equipment can be heavy, and the operator may be required to carry it around on site, then hold it in an awkward position for a long time. Use correct manual handling techniques.
 - Adopt the correct grip and stance to control the drill
  - Be aware of vibration fatigue and how to manage it
 - Be aware of slippery floors, and unstable or uneven surfaces
 - The risk of harm increases when working alone, even if that is just out of sight of other workers

Cutting:

- Open up the diamonds on a new drill bit with shallow cuts in soft, abrasive material (eg. limestone)
 - Do not force the bit - allow the drill to do the work.  Forcing or twisting the blade can cause binding, overheating, distortion and segment damage
 - When removing the bit, turn the water down and back the bit out while the drill motor is still running.
 - Check the bit periodically for heat marks, cracks in the steel core or segments, or excessive wear underneath the segments
- When the slurry changes colour (usually to gray) or the drill motor speed drops, you are most probably cutting steel. Drop the motor speed down and relax pressure by about 1/3. Some operators reduce water after exiting the steel to redress the blade again, but don't forget to turn the water up again afterwards.
 - Never leave running machines unattended
- If the blade glazes up, redress the bit by reducing the water by half for a few minutes, or by drilling into an abrasive material like limestone, a cinder block or similar. A bit of Ajax down the hole can also have the same effect.

These guidelines are not exhaustive. If in doubt, contact the saw manufacturer, the blade manufacturer, site supervisor or local Occupational Health and Safety Commission.

Disclaimer: the information on this website is provided in good faith and believed to be reliable and accurate at this time. However, the information is provided on the basis that the reader will be solely responsible for assessing the information and its veracity and usefulness. UDT shall in no way be liable, in negligence or howsoever, for any loss sustained or incurred by anyone relying on the information, even if such information is or turns out to be wrong, incomplete, out-of-date or misleading.

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