A LEADING bulk materials handling equipment supplier is urging businesses to safeguard against work-related deaths by installing protective guards on conveyors.
Kinder Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Neil Kinder, said recent figures revealing the extent of work-related deaths in Victoria last year were a timely reminder for employers to be vigilant.
According to WorkSafe Victoria, 2016 saw the highest number of work-related fatalities in the state since 2009, with 26 Victorians killed on the job, including two in the quarrying industry.
A study by Safe Work Australia also found that 36 per cent of the 639 work-related deaths involving machinery, plant and powered tools between 2006 and 2011 were “definitely or possibly design-related”, and the most common contributor was inadequate guarding.
“Operator safety, in terms of the workplace, is non-negotiable,” Mr Kinder said.
“If somebody gets killed or caught up in a conveyor belt, the litigation that could result over that death could devastating emotionally and financially if the company is found to be irresponsible in terms of the health and safety of its workplace.
“Conveyor belts operate at such high speed, they are uncompromising. If you get caught in one, injuries can be severe and or fatal.”
Mr Kinder’s Braeside-based company has developed a practical conveyor guard solution which helps to minimise the potential for injuries and to ultimately save lives.
The K-Protector® Return Idler Guard which is designed to the Australian standard protects operator contact by eliminating nip points.
“Some companies, in the past, have just put a bit of wire mesh around it, but that’s not acceptable in terms of a proper standard.
“You can’t just dream up your own style of guard, because at the end of the day, it’s not compliant.
“The guard that we have designed meets the Australian Standard of guard design.”
The K-Protector® Return Idler Guard comes with a quick release mechanism that allows it to pass through the end plates for maintenance, and is available to suit all roller diameters and belt widths. The guard also acts as a basket to catch the roller, in the event of idler failure.
“Conveyor guards do not have to be complicated, nor interfere with productivity,” Mr Kinder said.
“Once installed, the guard should be kept clean and inspected regularly.”