Moving conveyor parts, and exposed machinery, pose serious safety risks to workers, maintenance workers and technicians. Often with varying speeds and different applications, anyone who is responsible, or works in and around them should be well versed in conveyor safety. The main hazards associated with moving conveyor machinery include: pinch points and moving parts, moving materials or slip, trip and fall hazards.
The key conveyor safety principles are:
- Do not perform maintenance on conveyor until electrical, air, hydraulic, and gravity energy sources have been locked out or blocked
- Operate equipment only with all approved covers and guards in place
- Allow only authorised personnel to operate or maintain material handling equipment
- Do not modify or misuse conveyor controls
- Ensure that ALL controls and pull cords are visible and accessible
- Know the location and function of all stop and start controls
- Report all unsafe conditions. Blockages should be cleared ONLY by authorised, trained personnel.
How to eliminate the hazards of moving machinery:
Install Australian standard compliant safety guarding. To be Australian Standard compliant the guarding must:
- provide a protective physical barrier, which removes the foreseeable risk of personal injury by accidental contact or approach
- be identifiable as guarding, primarily through safety colours
- not allow anybody parts to fit through the guarding apertures and reach the hazard
- allow visual inspection without the ability to physically contact the hazard
- be safe and easy to remove for maintenance access, and quickly and easily replaced when the work is finished
- not create a new manual handling hazard, such as overly large and heavy panels; and,
- be secured in position so they cannot be removed without the use of tools unless an interlocking device is provided to automatically stop the conveyor when the guard is removed.