Conveyors are a common feature of various industries and firms, as they make movement and handling of bulky items from one point to another easier. Additionally, they are used for the movement of people from a place to another within busy areas like airports and train stations. They mainly feature a belt, with great variations in length.
Applications Of Conveyor Belts
Many processes, especially in industries, use conveyor belts to move items across various points, making work easier and saving costs. Standard processes that use conveyor belts include:
- Packaging processes
- Food production
- Bakery products
- Mining processes
- Pharmaceuticals handling
- Textile processing
- Airport baggage handling
- Cement processing
- Flour milling processes
Hazards Associated With Conveyor Belts
While conveyor systems are an invaluable addition to many processes and industrial activities, they present a host of hazards, which have led to severe injuries and fatalities in the past. These hazards include:
Mobile parts hazards– Sometimes body parts, hai or clothing may get sucked into moving parts like rollerblades.
Loads in motion hazards– Heavy objects can cause serious bodily harm or crush whoever gets in the way.
Sliding parts-These parts can crush body parts or cause tearing.
Electrical hazards– Mishandling electricals can lead to electrocution or fires.
Pinch points-These points will easily trap loose items and crush them.
If you work close to conveyor belts, you need to understand the risks that you are exposed to and how you can avoid injury and stay safe. Dealing with conveyor belt hazards involves a conscious effort to maintain safety and deal with risks. These measures include:
Loose-fitting clothing and accessories like scarves should not be worn near conveyor belts. They could easily get sucked into mobile parts and lead to horrific injuries. Appropriate safety gear such as helmets, safety shoes, and reflectors should be worn at all times. Helmets protect your head from falling objects while safety shoes prevent falls which can see you land on the conveyor belts.
Training And Sensitisation
One of the reasons why conveyor belt accidents are quite common is because many people don’t understand their working mechanism. Training workers on the various parts and operational procedures will keep them from costly mistakes that could put others at risk.
Alertness In The Workplace
Sometimes a look in the wrong direction is all it takes for a disaster to strike. Despite having enough working experience with conveyor belts, you can still risk serious injury when you perform your job with laxity.
Using Conveyor Belts As Recommended
While conveyor belts are strong appliances, placing overweight loads on them hinders their performance. Placing heavier objects than recommended on the conveyor belt can lead to the belt giving way and injuries.
Keeping conveyor belt surfaces clean is crucial, not just for the proper running of the machine, but as a safety precaution. Loose items like paper pieces could find their way to the inner parts of the conveyor belts and cause jamming. Once the machine jams, its components can be out of alignment and pose a danger when switched on before repair.
Preparing For Emergencies
Part of preparing for emergencies includes identifying such risks and having an idea of what to do in an emergency. Having proper knowledge of the controls will enable you to press the right buttons in emergencies.
Knowing Your Machine
Knowing all the parts of your machine, from the rotating parts to sliding parts and corners and where they are located, will keep you safe from avoidable injuries. Good knowledge of your machine will also let you notice problems when they occur and take appropriate measures to fix them before they get out of hand.
Conveyor belts are dangerous and should be handled with caution always. The above guidelines are essential for firms and their employees to ensure the safety of everyone within the vicinity of conveyor belts.
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