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Safety Around Conveyors
A conveyor is a machine that transfers material from one area to another by use of stationary framework and rotating or vibrating belts, rollers, chains, etc. Conveyors may or may not be motorized and can be used overhead, underground or at working height. Transfer methods may include belts, buckets, or other material-specific carriers. Conveyors can be hazardous due to the nature of the moving parts and transferred material. Caution needs to be used when working with or around them.
Things You Can Do to Improve Safety around Conveyors
* Verify machine guarding is in place and in good condition at all times.
* If working around an overhead conveyor, check for basin-type guarding under the conveyor – Move away if none are in place and always wear a hard hat.
* Keep all loose clothing, long hair and jewelry away from conveyors at all times.
* Identify pinch-points and all rotating or moving parts before approaching the conveyor.
* Never perform maintenance work without performing the required Lockout /Tag-out procedure.
* Verify there is a way to stop the conveyor in case of emergency such as emergency pull-cords, typically installed adjacent to the conveyor path.
* Never overload the conveyor; always conduct preventive maintenance tasks, as scheduled; ensure adequate lubrication; keep accurate maintenance records.
* Inspect the condition of belts, chains, links and gears; verify there is no fraying of the belt.
* Stand away from the conveyor, if possible, to avoid being struck by material and flying debris.
* Always wear the proper Personal Protective Equipment for the job – Eye protection is highly recommended in most cases; coveralls, leather gloves, hard hats and steel-toed boots are other forms of applicable PPE
Questions to Generate Discussion
* What tasks cause the highest risk for injury when working with a conveyor?
* What improvements can be made to conveyors that would improve the safety of these tasks?
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